Morning Links: Safety improvements on Riverside Drive, and bike riding makes you happier than money

Just weeks after advocates and local residents demanded action on Riverside Drive, they’re actually getting it.

LADOT has announced it’s making safety improvements to the Riverside Drive intersection where 17-year old Christian Vega was killed when he was struck by a driver.

Although that news is tempered by the LAPD’s conclusion that the driver wasn’t at fault, after security video showed that Vega was crossing against the light.

Now if we could just get fast action like that before someone gets killed.

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Somehow we missed this one last week.

A new study from researchers at Yale and Oxford shows that exercise makes you happier then money.

But you already knew that, right?

Then again, riding a bike with a fat wallet would probably put a smile on anyone’s face.

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That GoFundMe account for the son of fallen South LA bike rider Frederick “Woon” Frazier is now over $5,000, halfway to the $10,000 goal.

That comes just 24 hours after Peter Flax’s article appeared in Bicycling with a link to the fund.

Which will undoubtedly come as a huge blessing to his desperately poor family, after losing Woon’s income that helped pay for half their rent and expenses.

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Local

This is who we share the roads with. Even Rolls Royce drivers in DTLA don’t seem to feel a need to stick around after a crash.

CiclaValley goes gravel biking on the Santa Clara Truck Trail.

State

This is who we share the roads with too. An Orange County man got 15 years behind bars for killing two road workers in a drunken crash when he slammed into their truck as it was stopped in a bike lane; he was arraigned on a previous DUI in 2014, but never bothered to show up to court.

He gets it. A San Diego letter writer says painting sharrows on the street to encourage more bicycling is just wishful thinking.

A Corona teacher started a nonprofit called Bicycles for Children, which has helped keep kids in school by donating over 4,700 bikes to elementary school kids in the last seven years.

A 13-year old Los Alamos boy who was riding salmon suffered major injuries when he was struck by a right-turning driver.

National

Bike Mag explains the differences in the technologies behind various helmets designed to reduce your risk of concussion. Although the best way to avoid a concussion is to stay on your bike.

An Oregon paper says stop means stop, and bicyclists shouldn’t be any exception.

So much for U-locks. A pair of Denver bike thieves are caught on video using a grinder to cut through a Kryptonite U-lock and steal the bike in just 12 seconds, start to finish. And when the owner opened the app for his Tile tracking device, he found two years worth of weak battery notices and no clue where his bike was.

A Green Bay Packer tradition of borrowing a kid’s bike to ride to the first day of practice led one player to develop a lasting friendship with the boy whose bike he borrowed. And organizing a benefit concert when the boy’s father went into a coma suffering from necrotizing fasciitis.

Chicago’s transit authority says combination bus and bike lanes could be the solution to a faster commute.

When his bike turns up missing, along with the entire storage unit it was in, Minnesota man decides it can’t hurt to enlist the help of every elected official this side of the president in the hunt.

A Cleveland site asks if Vision Zero is the answer, saying the city’s bicyclists and pedestrians need more than a little paint on the street. The clear answer is yes — if, and only if, political leaders fully commit to the program, and have the courage to stand up to angry drivers. Unlike a certain SoCal metropolis we could name.

Maybe you should check under your bed. A Boston family did, and discovered a long-lost masterpiece by a Nigerian artist that hadn’t been seen since it was first exhibited in 1961. The painting, worth an estimated $100,000, shows four children on bicycles swerving out of the way of a truck. Something we can all relate to.

A group of Massachusetts bicyclists will ride to the Statue of Liberty in support of immigrants.

No bias here. A New York TV station sounds the alarm about “two-wheeled terrors” racing along a Hudson River path, after a four-year old girl was left bloodied when she was struck by someone on a bike. Somehow, the reporter seemed shocked when other bike riders refused to offer a collective mea culpa for the actions of one person. But we all need to slow down and ride safely around pedestrians, especially kids.

A Brooklyn jury gave a man a massive $110 million judgment after he was paralyzed when transit worker dropped a railroad tie on him while he was riding his bike next to an elevated subway track.

Great idea. A New York state legislator wants to use traffic cameras to crack down on people who drive or park in bike lanes. Can we do that here? Pretty please?

In yet another example of keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late, a woman in New York state killed a man on a bike in a drunken crash, despite six previous license suspensions. A driver should lose their license for at least a year after their first DUI. And have their driver’s license revoked after a second offense — and the car impounded so they can’t keep driving it anyway.

A South Carolina firefighter decides to adopt the puppy he rescued from under a pile of rocks, after some bike riders heard the dog crying; naturally, he named the dog Rocky.

No bias here, either. A witness told a Louisiana TV station that a bike rider collided with the front of a car, which had the green light. Unless the rider rode head-on into the car, the driver hit the bicyclist. And chances are, the “witness” was inside the car at the time, since they described the victim as coming out of nowhere, which is an unlikely observation from someone on the street.

Apparently taking a clue from Los Angeles, mostly white-haired St. Petersburg residents rise up against “lane loss,” as the city moves forward with its Complete Streets program. Because why would you want a street that safely serves everyone when you can continue to go “vroom, vroom,” instead.

International

Cars are killing us without even hitting us. A new study shows that pollution from car exhaust causes four million cases of asthma worldwide every year. And never mind what it’s doing to the planet.

Treehugger says 37,000 lives could have been saved over the past 25 years with lower speed limits.

A London ebike maker will pay its employees the equivalent of 68¢ a mile to ditch their cars and commute by ebike; workers who prefer traditional bikes will get just 26¢.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a retired woman was convicted of killing a bike rider in a collision. Yet the judge said she wouldn’t sentence her to jail because the death resulted from “a second or two moments” of inattention. Sort of like most crashes, fatal or otherwise.

A British expat discovers a bicycling paradise in Spain.

Police in an Australian town were forced to delete a victim blaming tweet after a driver hit a seven-year old bike-riding girl, when outraged Twitter users rose up to complain.

An Australian study suggests that bike lanes actually increase the risk for bicyclists, because drivers pass riders in bike lanes closer than they do otherwise.

The price is going up for China’s dockless bikeshare.

Competitive Cycling

Olympic gold-medal cyclist Marty Nothstein filed suit against USA Cycling, alleging the organization defamed him and invaded his privacy by leaking an allegation of sexual misconduct during his failed run for congress.

Lance talks doping to Rice University students, saying he started because everyone else was doing it. And would have won even if he hadn’t doped. Which kind of begs an obvious question...

Finally…

Your next helmet could collapse so your head doesn’t. If you’re carrying weed, meth and a narcotic pill on your bike, put a damn light on it, already.

And your next handlebars could be as kinky as you are.

Morning Links: Tearjerking look at Woon tragic death, Pasadena flirts with e-bikeshare, and fix for Spring St

Seriously, they’re just trying to make us cry now.

Just days after Sahra Sulaiman’s moving story on how Frederick “Woon” Frazier’s mom is coping with the death of her only son a year later, former Bicycling editor-in-chief Peter Flax steps up with a heartbreaking look of his own for his former publication.

And no coincidence, in either case, that today is the one-year anniversary of needless, cowardly hit-and-run that took his life.

Or that, despite the announcement of pending charges against the speeding, uninsured driver who left him to die in the street — then attempted to coverup her crime by repainting her Porsche Cayenne — no charges have actually been filed a full year later.

Even though she turned herself in and confessed to the crime when investigators were closing in on her.

Maybe they’re waiting for today to do it with a big splash.

We can only hope.

Flax describes the day of Woon’s death in painful new detail.

When Woon got to the busy intersection of Normandie and Manchester avenues, less than a mile from home, he arced a slow right turn. Almost instantly, the Porsche was upon him. A nearby security camera caught the moment when a driver in a white Cayenne, who had been speeding in the gutter lane, closed the gap to Woon’s rear wheel and struck him from behind.

The impact was fierce, more than enough to shatter the rear triangle of his carbon-fiber frame. Then the driver took off, leaving Woon to die on Manchester Avenue before an ambulance could take him to the hospital.

Perhaps an hour after her son left the house, Owens (Woon’s mother) heard a knock on her door. On the front step stood three LAPD officers. One detective pushed up his shades—his eyes were red, Owens recalled—and told her that Woon had been in a crash and didn’t make it.

It’s a must read, as Flax delves into the extreme loss, emotionally, physically and financially, for a family that can least afford it, in any sense. Yet refuses to give up on long-delayed justice, even without hope of a civil judgement.

But be sure to have some tissues on hand.

Flax ends his story with a visit to Woon’s ghost bike. And an unexpected encounter, as a monthly South LA group ride came pedaling by.

Everyone was staring and shouting at the ghost bike. Two dudes popped synchronized wheelies. 

I later recalled something Owens told me that afternoon. She and her son had been talking about the dangers of riding a bike in South Central, and Woon looked up at his mother and tried to reassure her. “Don’t worry, Momma,” he said. “If something happens to me, they’ll ride for me.” She said she didn’t understand it then, but she understood it now.

A Latino guy on a tricked-out fixie was riding shotgun at the back of the Fixie Goons. As he passed the ghost bike, we made eye contact for a second. Then he titled his head back and shouted to the sky: “Long live Woon!”

Long live Woon, indeed.

Although the best part of Flax’s story isn’t even part of it.

He mentions, almost in passing, the crowdfunding page set up for Woon’s three-month old son.

Sitting in the small and crowded living room in South Central, Beverly Owens spent a few hours talking about her son and her heartbreak, but there was one more bittersweet disclosure to come. On the day of Woon’s funeral, Owens said, his girlfriend found out she was pregnant. 

The baby is three months old now. The boy’s mother is trying to raise him on her own, but it’s tough. An ongoing GoFundMe campaign helped buy a crib and car seat, but diapers are expensive. A settlement in civil court would have really make a difference for the people Woon left behind.

When I last checked the GoFundMe site on Sunday night, it had been languishing at just over $1,000 for four full months.

But within hours of Flax’s story appearing online, it had jumped to over $3,000. And now sits at $3,555 as of this writing.

A happy ending to a very sad story.

Photo of Woon’s mom looking at his photo from GoFundMe page.

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In a surprise announcement, Pasadena may be getting back into the bikeshare business.

Less than a year after pulling the plug on the Metro Bike docked bikeshare program, the city is considering buying into an ebike bikeshare proposed by San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments.

The program will roll out 1,000 bikes which can be ridden in ped-assist or fully electric mode, across ten SGV cities.

Just don’t plan on riding an e-scooter in the Rose City anytime soon.

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It looks like LADOT heard the complaints about the notorious Spring Street parking lane protected bike lane, and will be making some much needed improvements soon.

At least, we can hope they’ll be improvements.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps going on.

A San Francisco driver chased a man on a bike and intentionally ran him down with his car after the two got into an argument; fortunately, the victim wasn’t seriously hurt.

Yet somehow, police inexplicably failed to make an arrest.

Something tells me they wouldn’t let the suspect go if he’d pistol whipped the victim, which is no different in any real sense than using a motor vehicle as a weapon.

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Usually I’m loathe to share a commercial TV spot on here, especially for an insurance company. And especially without getting paid for it.

But this gecko-less Geico semi-PSA is worth a small exception.

Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

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A new Mobility Lab video shows that walkers and bike riders are the happiest commuters.

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Local

Work has finally begun on the new bike and pedestrian bridge across the LA River using the piers originally used by the Red Car trolleys, which will allow access for people on bikes and on foot to cross the river once work begins on remaking the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge.

Riders using the Expo Line bike path will have to deal with a three-year detour — 1,096 long days (don’t forget leap year) — for construction of an oddly spelled “creative” high-rise office complex at Jefferson and National.

Not everyone likes LA’s demand that dockless bikeshare and e-scooter companies share their usage data with the city; the Electronic Frontier Foundation says the ride tracking pilot program is out of control. Thanks to Steve S for the link.

A Santa Clarita man was seriously injured when he was hit by the driver of a car while riding his bicycle on Sunday; a witness worried the victim would never walk again. Meanwhile, Santa Clarita collisions are down 24% since the implementation of the city’s Head’s Up safety campaign.

The Laemmle theater chain — run by bike-riding former LACBC board member Greg Laemmle — will screen The Bikes of Wrath, a documentary following five Australians as they ride from Oklahoma to California, following the westward Okie migration described in Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

State

San Diego gives the boot to DecoBike, operator of the city’s docked bikeshare, alleging an unspecified breach of contract.

How about a three-day self-paced bike tour through the wine country surrounding Los Olivos?

National

Walmart is moving beyond their typical low-end bicycle shaped objects to introduce a high-end mountain bike selling for up to $6,000.

The question of how many bike shops there are in the US, and whether they’re shrinking or expanding, depends on how you define “bike shop.”

A Seattle radio station offers a discussion on how to ride a bike in a town without enough bike lanes. Which is probably required listening for all of us here in America’s Worst Bike City.

Bike Mag takes a ride in the heat, thorns and amazing desert blooms around Tucson AZ.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 77-year old Chicago grandmother stops by the Grand Canyon on a cross-country bike ride, as part of a group of 14 senior citizens riding across the US the hard way, going east to west headfirst into the prevailing winds.

Once again, a bicyclist visiting this country has been killed, this time in New Mexico, where an Australian man was run down from behind by an “inattentive” driver. There’s something terribly wrong when someone can’t ride a bike while visiting this country without getting shipped back home in a coffin.

There’s a special place in hell for the Texas thief who rode off with a nine-year old boy’s bicycle as he pleaded with him not to take it.

A bike-riding Maine letter writer freaks out at the sight of a group of bicyclists riding two abreast, which appears to be perfectly legal in the state. Besides, anyone who uses the too-tired phrase that bicycling is a two-way street belongs in cliche jail.

Now that’s more like it. Cambridge, Massachusetts has passed a first-in-the-nation ordinance requiring it to add permanent protected bike lanes anytime they reconstruct a road in the city’s bike plan. LA advocates fought for a clause like that when the bike plan was adopted. Needless to say, we didn’t get very far.

Seriously? A Massachusetts TV station reminds viewers to wear a helmet when they ride a bike, after someone sent them a photo of a helmetless rider popping a wheelie in the middle of a busy intersection. Call me crazy, but I’d think better advice would be don’t pop wheelies in intersections. with or without one.

International

A new study shows the cognitive and psychological benefits of bicycling are the same whether you pedal yourself or let an ebike do it for you. So just get out there and ride, already.

Argentina’s national soccer coach Lionel Scaloni is one of us; he was lucky to escape with a few cuts and bruises when he was hit by a driver while riding in Spain. Just a pity that we too often find out who rides a bike when they get knocked off one.

Montreal tried to close a popular park to motor vehicles after a bike rider was killed — then reopened it after motorists rose up in anger. Which might sound familiar to anyone who remembers LA’s Playa del Rey fiasco.

Adventure cyclist Ishbel Holmes set out on an around-the-world bicycle tour, only to adopt a stray dog in Turkey that she says changed her life forever.

Competitive Cycling

British Continental cyclist Ian Bibby said he’s devastated after thieves broke into his garage and stole his bike.

Cyclist considers the favorites for Sunday’s infamous Hell of the North, aka Paris-Roubaix.

Minnesota’s North Star Grand Prix launched a crowdfunding campaign to make up a $200,000 shortfall in funding in their planned comeback as a UCI women’s race.

And this is how you give a post-race interview.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for that one.

Finally…

Discovering that bike riding can actually be fun if you try. Why did a bike-riding Domino’s worker get run down with a full load of Little Caesars pizzas?

And adding insult to injury.

Literally.

Morning Links: Report of fatal bike crash in Gardena, what not to do on a bike, and an oopsie vehicular assault

Unfortunately, we have to start with bad news today.

I’ve received an unconfirmed report from a credible source that a bike rider was killed in a collision with the driver of a big rig truck in Gardena yesterday.

There’s nothing in the news yet, and no notice from the Gardena police.

Which sadly, isn’t too unusual.

We’ll let you know when there’s more information.

Update: I’ve been informed that the crash actually occurred on the other side of the 110 Freeway at South Broadway near 157th in unincorporated West Rancho Dominguez.

However, there’s still no official confirmation, and nothing in the news.

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A Virginia bike rider stars in his own what not to do video.

Seriously, try to remember that red lights and right-of-way laws exist for a reason.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps going on.

A Dallas-area man intentionally rammed his car into a 13-year old boy in a case of mistaken identity; the victim was just sitting on his bike waiting to ride into the crosswalk when the man drove into him, thinking he was someone else.

Let’s hope an “Oops, my bad” isn’t enough this time.

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Local

Police are looking for a gunman who rode his bicycle up to a man in South LA and shot him to death around midnight Sunday night.

Curbed catches up with LA’s new plan to create permanent memorials for people killed on bikes. But fails to mention that the city will only post 20 year. So unless Vision Zero succeeds in lowering the city’s rate of bicycling fatalities, someone will be left out.

E-scooters finally invade DTLA. It will be interesting to see what effect, if any, they have on Downtown’s docked Metro Bike bikeshare.

Santa Monica-based Bird has reportedly taken repair of their eponymous scooters in-house; a lawsuit alleges the company told freelance mechanics to ignore loose screws and wobbly parts.

State

San Francisco’s popular semi-protected Wiggle bike route puts bike riders at risk by abruptly throwing them into traffic in dangerous mixing zones.

The New York Times examines the heartbreaking story of Olympic cyclist and Stanford math grad student Kelly Catlin, who took her own life just months after suffering a head injury while racing.

National

People for Bikes announced it is merging operations with fellow industry nonprofit Bicycle Product Suppliers Association, allowing the two groups to speak to government leaders with a single, unified voice. Which is only slightly repetitively redundant.

One by one, micromobility companies are throwing in the towel on dockless bikeshare in favor of scooters.

Business Insider lists five tools every home bike mechanic needs for easy repairs. Although I’ve somehow managed to ride nearly four decades without needing any of them, except for the torque wrench.

Oregon considers importing half of the Idaho Stop Law from their neighbor to the east, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs and flashing red lights as yields, but still requiring them to come to a full stop at red lights.

A Nogales AZ man has gone from being a bike skeptic to a bicycling evangelist in just a few years, founding a weekly ride that started with three people and building to over 100. And they don’t take excuses from prospective riders, providing bikes, helmets and lights to anyone without them.

A local paper says suburban Illinois bike riders want a little respect from drivers. Personally, I don’t care if they respect me, as long as give me some space, leave me alone and don’t run over my ass.

Ouch. A Pittsburgh woman is suing REI, alleging that they failed to properly install or adjust the stem on her bike, causing her handlebars to drop while she was riding and throwing her into a concrete barrier.

I want to be like them when I grow up. A bike club composed of riders ranging from 68 to 94 is taking to the streets around their North Carolina retirement community. Not to mention these bike-born AARP badasses call themselves the Cyclepaths.

No bias here. After a Baton Rouge LA bike rider was found lying dead in a ditch just a block from his home, police concluded that he was the victim of a traffic collision. But insisted there was no foul play, even though the driver who apparently killed him was nowhere to be found. Evidently, leaving someone to die alone in a ditch just isn’t considered foul in the Pelican State.

International

No bias here, either. After an Alberta police chief witnesses several distracted pedestrians put themselves in danger, he watches a lone bike rider roll a red light. But feels the need to stress that bicyclists must share responsibility.

Um, okay. A Canadian triathlon magazine offers tips on how run faster off the bike. Because it’s so hard to run on one, apparently.

A 71-year old English driver offers yet another reminder that no one, ever, comes out of nowhere. Not even a 58-year old bike rider dressed in hi-viz.

Horrible story from the UK, where a 15-year old boy has been charged with murder after allegedly throwing a bicycle into the path of a motorcyclist.

Britain’s Lord Winston, who says he only dislikes scofflaw bicyclists even though his anti-bike proposals target everyone on two wheels, is now calling for bike riders to be required to carry some sort of electronic tags that can presumably be read by some sort of device for no apparent purpose.

You can no longer ride your moped in Amsterdam bike lanes.

We need this here. A German app not only names and shames drivers by posting photos of their vehicles blocking bike lanes, it automatically notifies the appropriate authorities to — hopefully — do something about it.

According to Vox, Barcelona is attempting to shatter the dominance of motor vehicles by creating a network of superblocks where “pedestrians, cyclists and citizens mix in safety.” So that means people who walk or ride bikes aren’t citizens, right?

The Philippines is considering legislation that would create the equivalent of a nearly five-foot passing law.

Budget ebike maker Xiaomi has introduced a ped-assist bike capable of going 50 miles on a single charge for less than $400. But once again, if you’re not in China, you’re out of luck for now.

Competitive Cycling

This is the cost of traffic violence. Five members of the Bahrain National Cycle Team were seriously injured by a distracted driver while on a training ride, with three suffering what was described as severe injuries, when the texting driver swerved into the peloton — even though the team’s coach was following the group with a danger sign.

Peter Kennaugh, a veteran cyclist from the Isle of Man, has decided to step away from pro cycling to focus on his mental heath and well-being; Bicycling considers what we can learn from his painful decision.

Finally…

Your next ebike could fold in just 10 seconds. Who says you can’t go to college to study bicycle design and fabrication?

And at least he didn’t try to stuff the bike into his pants.

Morning Links: Heartbreaking story of justice at last for Woon, $1000 bike theft reward, and war on bikes goes on

Call it today’s must read.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman writes movingly about the needless death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier in South LA last year.

And the justice that may finally be in the offing, with charges finally pending against the young woman who ran him down while speeding in the parking lane, and left him to die in the street.

As well as the heartbreaking effect the loss of her only son — and the father of her newly born grandson — has had on his mother.

“Look what you did. Look what you created!” he repeated, still marveling over how strong he had become. “I love you, Momma – you know you my queen.”

“I love you, too, son,” she said.

“I’m about to go out here, I’m bout to ride my bike. I’m bout to have me a good day,” he said, smiling. “I feel good today, Momma. Man, I’m free…”

Five minutes later, he was dead.

Seriously, if you can get through this story without tears in your eyes — or anger over a city where people on bicycles are nothing more than car fodder — you’re a stronger person than I am.

And don’t get me started about the heartlessness it takes to leave another human being bleeding in the street.

Or the snail’s pace of justice that takes a full year to file charges after the driver confessed.

I’ve been a fan of Sulaiman’s writing for years, ever since I briefly worked with her as a guest editor for Streetsblog.

But this may just be the best work she’s ever done.

A fundraiser and memorial ride will be held for Frederick “Woon” Frazier next Sunday. And a crowdfunding page for his son is still open, having raised just over $1,000 of the $10,000 goal.

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There’s now a $1,000 reward for the thief who rode off with a $5,000 road bike from a Costa Mesa bike shop.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. And on.

A Toronto man faces a charge of attempted murder for whacking a 40-year old bike rider with a golf club, knocking him off his bicycle; the victim was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

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Local

Nineteen-year old Lenrey Briones was accused of being the bike-riding South LA Slasher who permanently disfigured seven people in a series of random knife attacks; he’s charged with seven counts of aggravated mayhem, two counts of attempted aggravated mayhem and one count of attempted second-degree robbery.

This is who we share the roads with. You know you’re drunk when you back through a Culver City intersection, hit a parked car, then pass out while you’re being frisked. Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

State

Officials in Carlsbad says bad behavior by scofflaw mountain bikers is destroying the city’s nature preserve. Seriously, always ride with respect for the environment. And stick to the damn trails.

A San Diego man will receive a whopping $20 million settlement for a solo bike crash that left him confined to a wheelchair after riding into an open construction trench in the Sorrento Valley; the city is on the hook for $1.5 million of that. Although something tells me he’d give back every penny just to be able to walk and ride a bike again.

A BMX rider from San Diego ran off to join the circus. And came back this week as one of five BMX riders performing with Volta by Cirque du Soleil.

Apple Valley police are looking for a bike-riding burglar who broke into a coffee shop early Saturday; he should be recognizable by a “distinct” mustache and mismatched wheels on his bike.

Sounds about right. Concord conducted its own traffic safety crackdown on Saturday, ticketing 33 drivers, 27 pedestrians — and just two bicyclists.

CBS looks back at a 20-year old 60 Minutes story about a Citrus Heights man who got 35 to life for stealing a bicycle under the state’s three strikes law; he finally got out after 19 years.

National

Now that’s more like it. A Flagstaff AZ city intern is mapping every sign, trashcan, bench, bollard and fence on the city’s 54-mile trail system to upload it to the city’s digital mapping system. It would be nice if Los Angeles did something similar so they had some idea what the hell is going on with our trail and bikeway system. And notice I didn’t use the work “network,” because it ain’t even close to being one.

A nonprofit bike advocacy group in my bike-friendly hometown is looking for a new executive director.

Arkansas is three months away from being just the second state to implement the full Idaho Stop Law. California could have been, but opposition from truckers, AAA and the CHP killed it every time it’s been introduced in the legislature.

Wisconsin’s new Democratic governor wants to restore the ability of state and local governments to use eminent domain to build bike and pedestrian paths.

Don’t mess with mom. A Georgia man is behind bars after an angry mother tracked down her son’s stolen bicycle online, and identified it for police.

She gets it. The mayor of New Orleans introduces a bike safety initiative by reminding residents that we are all traffic. And the tips for motorists are on target — especially reminders that harassing bike riders is illegal, and to expect to see bicyclists in the traffic lanes.

Speaking of the Big Easy, an op-ed by an urban planner says the city’s rules and roadways are stacked against bicyclists and pedestrians.

International

Even Havana, Cuba has a new public-private bikeshare system, and bike lanes to support it.

A former Canadian cop saved a life on a busy Hawaiian road when he stopped in the middle of a descent to shepherd a rare triceratops-like chameleon to safety; the lizard clearly took a liking to him, following his bike across the roadway, then climbing up on his seat to say hi.

British police arrested an 18-year old serial bike thief after five weeks on the run; he was convicted in absentia on five counts each of stealing and damaging bicycles

An English father wants to know why his son is still behind bars, 12 years after he was convicted of stealing a bicycle when he was 17.

An Irish writer describes what he calls the six kinds of bike riders you’ll meet in Dublin, saying they’re all crazy. Or as he puts it, “Cycling in Dublin always felt like the behavior of post-Catholic masochists to me, stubborn fools at war with reality.” Meanwhile, the Irish Times says at least ten percent of the city’s transportation budget should be devoted to bicycling.

Obeying the law on your bike could get you a cash prize in Dubai.

A 65-year old Pakistani blacksmith is turning heads with his homemade double-decker tall bike. Just more evidence that we have more in common with people from other cultures than we might realize.

Yes, we have to avoid angry drivers, but at least we don’t have to dodge ‘roos.

He gets it, too. The mayor of the ancient Nepalese city of Patan wants to rectify past errors and revitalize the city through a new emphasis on bicycling, saying he wants to correct the “fundamentally flawed perception that new and wide roads are a solution.”

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-five-year old Italian pro Alberto Bettiol scored his first career victory with a surprise eleven-mile solo breakaway in the grueling Tour of Flanders.

The women’s triathlon team from my hometown university swept the podium at this year’s Collegiate Club National Championships.

UCI declares a turf war, ordering cyclists not to participate in an e-mountain bike race sanctioned by a motorcycling group.

Finally…

Pizza delivery rider by day, crime fighter by night. If you’re going to review a kid’s bike, might as well let a kid do it.

And before you jump out to attack a bicyclist, remember to put your car in park.

Man killed riding bike in Rancho Mirage collision; second fatal Coachella Valley bicycle crash in two weeks

Maybe it’s time to ask what the hell is going on in the Coachella Valley.

Because for the second time in less than two weeks, a Coachella Valley bike rider has been killed in a collision, this time in Rancho Mirage.

According to the Desert Sun, the victim was riding east across busy Bob Hope Drive in the crosswalk on Casino, in front of the Agua Caliente Casino, round 1:30 pm Friday when he was struck by the driver of a car headed north on Bob Hope.

The man, identified only as an elderly man or senior citizen, died after being taken to a local hospital.

There’s no word on who had the green light, or why the driver apparently didn’t notice an older man on a bicycle in the crosswalk directly in front of him.

The driver stayed at the scene and cooperated with police, and did not appear to be under the influence.

This comes less than two weeks after a Canadian man was fatally injured in a collision just eleven miles away in Indian Wells — at least the fourth bike rider killed in the Coachella Valley in the last year, according to the Desert Sun.

Which would make this man the fifth bicyclist to die in the valley, where surface streets are too often designed like freeways, encouraging drivers to exceed the already too high speed limits.

And what little bicycling infrastructure there is does far too little to keep riders safe.

Anyone with any information is urged to call the Riverside County Sheriff’s department at 760/836-1600.

This is at least the 18th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third I’m aware of in Riverside County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 77-year old Palm Springs resident Jack Peterson.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

Morning Links: Murder charge for OC hit-and-run, justice for Woon finally coming, and keep fighting Vision Zero

Once again, Orange County takes traffic crime seriously.

Garden Grove resident Victor Manuel Romero faces a single count of murder for the hit-and-run death of homeless bike rider Raymond MacDonald in Huntington Beach last weekend.

He’s being held on $1 million bond. Which either reflects the seriousness of the charge, or the depth of his bank account.

No word on whether he will also be charged with driving under the influence and hit-and-run. Although they may be waiting for toxicology tests to come back before deciding on DUI charges.

However, the seriousness of the charge suggests they suspect DUI this may not be his first offense; a DUI conviction in California requires signing a letter stating that killing someone while under the the influence can result in being charged with murder. Which presumably is what happened here.

Or it could just be that they’re finally starting to get it.

Meanwhile, MacDonald’s mother left a heartbreaking comment on this site, including the news that he was killed just hours after celebrating his birthday with her.

………

No official word yet, but the advocacy group Justice for Woon has revealed that charges will finally be filed against 23-year old Mariah Kandise Banks for the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier.

Frazier was fatally run down as he rode his bike at Manchester and Normandie in South LA nearly a year ago.

Banks reportedly turned herself in last May as investigators were closing in, despite allegedly repainting her formerly white Porsche Cayenne to hide evidence of the crime.

Authorities may be waiting until the one-year anniversary of Frazier’s death on Wednesday to announce the charges.

Or they may be trying to go under the radar after last June’s farce, when charges against Banks were announced with great fanfare, then quietly withdrawn with no further word.

Read more from Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman.

………

This is the cost of traffic violence.

Just a day after we linked to a knee-jerk, anti-Vision Zero comment, we saw the real cost of that kind of attitude.

Two girls were run down by the driver of a big rig gravel truck as they were walking in a crosswalk with the light, on their way to school near Exposition Park.

The driver swears he never saw them as he was turning, even though they were directly in front of him. And kept driving until another driver flagged him down to say he was dragging them beneath his truck.

Now one of the girls, a 14-year old student at Clinton Middle School, has died, while her 12-year old sister clings to life.

But sure.

Let’s all keep dragging our feet on Vision Zero. And all you NIMBY traffic safety-denying drivers keep on fighting it, because a few moments of inconvenience is certainly more important than a human life.

And no need to redesign trucks to provide a 180 degree view from behind the wheel, so drivers could actually see what’s in the road directly in front of them. Or require sideguards so innocent bike riders and pedestrians don’t get dragged underneath them.

Seriously, it’s just a couple of kids.

No big deal, right?

Right?

………

If you’re looking for somewhere to ride on Saturday, you could do a lot worse than stopping for the spring Corgi Beach Day in Huntington Beach.

………

Local

Authorities can’t prove the injuries a drunk driver suffered were the result of an alleged beating by sheriff’s deputies — including one who was just reinstated after being fired for the incident — because the driver admitted head-butting a bicyclist just before he was stopped.

A writer for the Daily Breeze says after 34 years bicycling up and down the coast, he’s ready for his ‘bent phase. After his ElliptiGo phase, that is.

An Aussie writer takes advantage of a layover at LAX to go mountain biking in Topanga Canyon.

Despite the panicked reported from ER physicians, a study commissioned by Santa Monica-based Bird shows similar injury rates for e-scooters and bicycles.

Santa Clarita wants your input on the city’s proposed Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan.

State

Bike riders call for a protected bike lane on 30th Street in San Diego’s North Park, calling it a test of the city’s commitment to climate action.

The local community is rallying around the family of an 11-year old Fontana boy after he was killed when he touched wheels with another kid’s bike while riding around his apartment complex last weekend.

The Southern California Chapter of the Police Unity Tour will make a stop at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks on Sunday’s ride to honor Sgt. Ronald Helus, who was killed in the shooting, as well as the other 144 police officers who died in the line of duty in last year.

A 36-year old Morgan Hill man was shot in the leg while he was riding his bike Wednesday night.

A Streetsblog op-ed says 20 should be plenty under San Francisco’s Vision Zero plan.

More bike lanes are coming to San Jose, even if that means — gasp! — removing parking spaces.

Sad news from Stanislaus County, where a bike rider was killed in a crash yesterday morning; the driver faces charges for manslaughter and DUI.

National

Consumer Reports wants to know why traffic deaths remain so high when safety tech has made so many advances. Simple answer: Too many badly designed roads, too high speeds, and too many fallible human beings behind the wheel.

Curbed says open street festivals can help cities practice for congestion pricing by showing residents there are other ways to get around without driving.

Outside suggests that maybe a roof rack isn’t the best way to haul your bike.

People for Bikes has released their third annual Participation Survey, showing one-third of all Americans ride bikes, but half of adult Americans don’t even own a working bike.

The former police chief of Kauai, Hawaii is still recovering two months after he was seriously injured in a collision while participating in a time trial.

A Seattle website examines the reasoning behind the city’s recent retreat on proposed bike lanes.

They get it. A paper in Grand Junction CO tells drivers that with or without sharrows, bike riders have a right to be in the roadway, and we all have a right to feel safe. Let’s hope they pay attention, because my brother lives and rides there now.

A bike boulevard in Lawrence KS — actually, just an intersection — lasted just two weeks before officials scrubbed it off the streets when people complained.

Life is cheap in Missouri, where a drunk driver walked with just probation after killing a bike rider in a crash. Naturally, her lawyer blamed the victim, and claimed his client wasn’t really drunk at the time of the crash because the booze hadn’t hit her yet.

A Chicago weekly wonders what can be done about those damn scofflaw cyclists.

Neighbors of an Illinois boy who disappeared eight years ago are still keeping his bicycle for him.

Presidential candidate and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is one of us, after going on epic bike rides through the state with her newspaper reporter dad.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An Ohio man is still riding at 92, though he recently switched from two wheels to a three-wheeled recumbent.

He’s got a point. A long-time New Orleans bicyclist says the No. 1 rule for riding in traffic is to ride with traffic. And the No. 2 rule is never ride against traffic.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Florida cop is off the hook for killing a 15-year old boy as he was crossing the street because speeding — even at a whopping 21 mph over the limit — isn’t enough to justify a manslaughter charge under Florida law.

International

Forget helmets. Now you need a wearable inflatable air bag.

A couple of Vancouver cops could face criminal charges after the bike rider they were tailing in an unmarked car suffered serious injuries falling off his bike.

Repeat after me — This is Saskatoon, not Amsterdam.

A writer for Forbes says Chinese dockless bikeshare has descended into a horrible game of chicken.

Finally…

Look at the new ebike Look. Nothing like listening to a bike-riding brass band.

And this is how Peter Sagan trains.

No, seriously, I want those little toy cyclists.

Morning Links: LAPD corrals South LA Slasher, Arkansas adopts Idaho Stop, and LA isn’t the happiest place in US

Looks like they finally got him.

We hope.

After a nearly two week, bike-born crime spree that left nine men and women with severe cuts to their necks and faces, LAPD detectives announced yesterday that they have made an arrest in the South LA Slasher case.

Police identified 19-year old Len Rey Briones, a homeless man residing in South LA, as the suspect.

Briones would allegedly ride his mountain bike up to the unwary victims and slash them in the face with a knife or some other sharp object, then ride off before they had time to react.

He was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

………

Call it the Arkansas Stop Law.

Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a bill that will bring the Idaho Stop Law to the state, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and red lights as stop signs, as long as there is no conflicting traffic.

This makes Arkansas just the second state to adopt the full Idaho Stop Law, though Delaware allows riders to treat stops as yield, but not roll through red lights.

Colorado also permits riders to roll stop signs, but leaves it up to local jurisdiction whether or not to actually allow it.

You can probably guess which state was the first to adopt the law.

Meanwhile, Northwest Arkansas is attempting to promote itself as a mountain biking destination, catapulted onto the global stage by winning the 2022 world cyclocross championships.

This new law certainly won’t hurt.

And it’s proof that promoting safe bicycling isn’t a liberal or conservative issue.

Just a human one.

Can’t wait to hear the first person argue that a similar law won’t work here because “This isn’t Arkansas.”

………

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that communities with a high level of bike commuting also rank high on the list of America’s happiest cities.

Which probably explains why Los Angeles checks in at a lowly 82nd.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. A Colorado Springs CO bike rider suffered three broken ribs and a broken clavicle when someone booby trapped a popular bike trail, stringing a rope across the trail just half an hour after he and a companion had passed through in the opposite direction.

………

Former pro cyclist Phil Gaimon is riding with this year’s Chef’s Cycle for No Kid Hungry; he has just over $1,800 to go to meet his $7,500 fundraising goal.

And hopes to raise an additional $100,000 for No Kid Hungry over the summer.

………

Local

Spectrum News 1 examines the Venice Great Streets project, and the road diet that sent opponents into fits of apoplexy. Then again, they only need to see the words Vision Zero to get the pitchforks and torches out.

Keep Rowena Safe offers their endorsements for the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council.

LA Walks introduces new Executive Director John Yi, replacing outgoing ED Emilia Crotty.

Santa Monica will host a Repair Cafe at the Camera Obscura at Palisades Park on Saturday to fix common household items; a bike mechanic from the Santa Monica Bike Center will be on hand, as well.

You’re invited to join an exploratory ride for the upcoming Mission to Mission 626 Gold Streets open streets event this Sunday.

The LACBC hosts their rescheduled tour of historic San Fernando and environs on Sunday as this month’s Sunday Funday Ride.

CiclaValley celebrates spring with a gravel bike ride on Sulphur Spring Road.

State

California considers joining Utah in dropping the legal blood alcohol level from 0.8. to 0.5. Which is probably the most effective way to increase the number of legally drunk drivers on the road.

The 405 Freeway will be shut down overnight between Beach Blvd and Goldenwest Street in Westminster this Saturday as part of a project to replace the Bolsa Ave bridge, eventually providing new bike lanes and sidewalks, as well as two additional lanes.

Caught on video: A thief makes off with a $5,000 bicycle from a Costa Mesa bike shop after giving a fake ID and riding off during a test ride.

The San Diego bike rider seriously injured in a crash with a scooter user was reportedly riding salmon on the boardwalk near Belmont Park; he suffered several fractured vertebrae and two broken ribs.

A Pismo Beach resident filmed a bike chop shop operating openly in the Oceano Dunes Nature Preserve, along with other illegal activities common to homeless encampments.

VeloNews looks forward to next weekend’s Sea Otter Classic in Monterey.

Cupertino is not so impressed with Apple’s proposal to pay for $9.1 million in bike and pedestrian improvements, in lieu of an employee head tax on local businesses.

San Francisco may beat Los Angeles to be the first California city to impose congestion pricing.

National

A new nationwide study shows an average of 25 children are treated in emergency rooms for bicycling injuries every hour; there was no significant difference in the rate of injuries whether or not the children were wearing bike helmets.

Outside offers their picks for the country’s best supported bike rides, including California’s Sierra to the Sea ride this June.

Salsa has issued a recall for their Warbird and Vaya bicycles due to a risk of the frame breaking.

Hundreds of Lime dockless bikeshare bikes ended up stacked in a Reno scrapyard after the company was unable to reach an agreement to continue its contact with the city. Evidently, there are no poor or homeless people up there who could have put the bikes to better use, or kids who could use a new bike.

A Texas bar is being sued for serving a man who got behind the wheel after getting extremely intoxicated and plowed into a group of bicyclists, killing one and seriously injuring another; naturally, the bar’s owners blame the victims for throwing themselves in front of a drunk. Unfortunately, California law prevents bars from being held accountable for the actions of their customers, no matter how drunk they help them get before driving home.

An 87-year old Texas man suffering from macular degeneration showed off his new bike, after a group of kindhearted people pitched in, with the help of a retired bike shop owner, to replace the one he had stolen.

Great idea. Springfield IL will install location markers on its 20 miles of bike paths to help first responders know where to go in an emergency. Docked bikeshare will return to Minneapolis this spring, though not to its twin city.

A Maine man will spend just 48 days behind bars for riding his bike up to a man in a drug store parking lot, threatening him with a knife and demanding money. Note to centralmaine.com — Seriously? Was the thief’s mode of transportation really his most important identifying feature? Would you describe a criminal who drove there as a motorist under the same circumstances?

Gothamist wants to know why the New York Department of Transportation ripped out a popular bike lane, and what happens now.

A Pennsylvania doctor is happy to be back on his bike less than a year after receiving a heart transplant, even if he can’t compete any more.

International

Here’s one more for your bike bucket list — bicycling the streets of Montevideo. I’m in.

Supporters say regular bicycles will survive, despite the competition from ebikes. If only because the growth of electric cars will put pressure on supplies of lithium, cobalt and other rare metals they both depend on for batteries.

London introduces a plan to replace commercial vans with cargo bikes, while hospitals are trying them out to deliver blood and tumor samples in anticipation of a new toxic air tax on motor vehicles to curb pollution.

Caught on video too: A pair of tag-teaming British bike thieves steal a locked bike in five seconds flat.

The Guardian examines how English workers built a 1951 bike tunnel under the Tyne River; it’s scheduled to reopen this year after an extended restoration. Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

A very forgiving bike-riding woman tells an Irish court she doesn’t want the stop sign-running driver who seriously injured her when he crashed into her bike to go to jail.

Just days after an Aussie study said over half of all drivers think bike riders are less than human, a new study from the UK says over two-thirds think we’re inconsiderate. I’m not sure if that’s progress, or just typical Brit understatement.

Young South Africans use bicycles to bridge the divides left by apartheid.

Life is cheap in Japan, where a 26-year old man walked with probation following a conviction for attempted murder; he got angry during a fight with a relative, and threw a bicycle off the 12th floor of a building, striking a 76-year old woman walking in the courtyard below. Fortunately, she escaped with just a nearly six-inch gash in her forehead.

Finally…

Bike riders hardly ever engage in a one hour and 40 minute stand-off over a parking space. At least we don’t have to worry about deadly kite strings.

And if you’re riding with meth on your bike, despite being released on an earlier meth charge after your case was overturned, don’t run red lights.

And put a damn light on it.

Morning Links: South LA Slasher claims more victims, AAA fights bike law change, and booby trapped SD trail

Sadly, there’s been more attacks by the bike-riding South LA Slasher.

The latest came Monday morning near Florence Ave and Avalon Blvd, when the suspect rode up on a mountain bike and slashed the face of another man with a sharp object for no apparent reason.

That raises the total number of attacks to six, all in the area of South LA and Southeast Los Angeles County.

The suspect is described as an 18- to 30-year-old Latino man with short hair, about 150 pounds and 5’6″ to 5’8″, wearing a dark-colored T-shirt and pants, and riding a black and green mountain bike

Let’s hope they catch this guy before he does some serious damage.

………

Once again, AAA is standing in the way of bike safety legislation — even when the proposed law doesn’t change anything.

Streetsblog reports that Calbike has withdrawn a proposal that would have simply changed the wording of the ride to the right rule to say that bicyclists have the right to “move away from the right edge when the lane isn’t wide enough to share.”

Current wording exempts riders from the requirement to stay to the right when the lane is too narrow to share, which is the case with most right lanes in Southern California.

Not only is it not a significant change, it doesn’t change the rights or responsibilities of bike riders at all. Just simplifies the wording, bringing it in line with statutes in other states.

Yet somehow, AAA still opposed it.

Just one more example of the organization’s mindless, knee-jerk opposition to almost any legislation regarding bikes, including their fight against the three-foot passing law.

Even when it doesn’t infringe on their members’ God-given right to go “vroom, vroom” to their hearts content.

I cancelled my membership several years back when I got tired of the organization using my dues to lobby against laws intended to protect my own life.

And that of everyone else who rides a bike.

………

The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A San Diego bike rider was lucky to avoid serious injury when he encountered a booby trap on a popular bike trail in San Dieguito River Park near Lake Hodges. Correction: I originally said I was near Lake Hughes. Thanks to Michele Chavez for the tip.

Someone had not only strung barbed wire across the trail, but had hidden it by braiding the wire in a strand of ivy.

Anyone who tried to ride through without spotting the wire could have been seriously injured.

Which makes this an attempted assault with a deadly weapon.

Let’s hope they find the jackass responsible for this. And that police and prosecutors treat it with the seriousness the crime calls for.

Meanwhile, a man in the UK got 18 months behind bars for siccing his dogs on a pair of bike riders, because he was upset over people riding on the sidewalk.

………

Local

LAist looks at the 15 people vying to become the next councilmember occupying LA’s vacant CD12 seat.

Santa Clarita is looking for one hundred more volunteers for this year’s Amgen Tour of California stage.

Long Beach residents got a street-level, one and a half hour view of the Long Beach Grand Prix course, as long as they did it without a motor.

State

This is who we share the roads with. Ten percent of drivers told AAA they “always or frequently” use their smartphones illegally while driving, while nearly 50% admit to doing it at least once. And those are just the ones honest enough to give a truthful answer; the real total is probably somewhere north of that. Far north.

Encinitas approves plans for a Complete Streets makeover of the Coast Highway in Leucadia, adding traffic circles and bike lanes to slow traffic and improve safety.

A San Diego man suffered serious injuries in a collision with a scooter rider as he was riding his bike on the Mission Beach boardwalk Tuesday afternoon.

Goleta was honored by the central coast chapter of a national public works association for the city’s bike and pedestrian master plan, as well as the Hollister Ave multi-use, Safe Routes to School path.

The popular Eroica California classic bike festival takes over Cambria this weekend.

A Pismo Beach street has been turned into a slalom course, forcing drivers to weave back and forth as construction begins on a Complete Streets makeover.

National

Outside says right now, it’s impossible to tell if Trek’s WaveCel helmet technology is as effective as the company claims; MIPS says their tests don’t back up Trek’s promises.

A new startup promises to give you airline-style miles for using non-automotive transport, such as biking, walking and transit.

How to help your mountain bike live a long, healthy and happy life.

Needless to say, Seattle bike riders are frustrated by the latest cutbacks in the bike plan for the ostensibly bike-friendly city, raising questions of what the mayor’s vision is. Or if she has one.

After exempting e-scooters from the city’s mandatory bike helmet law, Spokane questions whether the law is needed at all.

Evidently, New York state won’t be legalizing e-scooters now after all.

International

While everyone else is trying to stop drivers from parking in bike lanes, Hamilton, Ontario wants to invite them in.

A British Paralympian says we need another word for utility bicyclists to reduce the hostility many drivers have for people on bikes. Or we could just forget the semantics, and focus on changing drivers attitudes and reminding them that we’re human too.

A Scottish man on an around the world bike tour has picked up a passenger, adopting a stray kitten in Bosnia; he modified his bike to give it a space up front.

German officials blame a rise in bicycling deaths on more older people using ebikes.

Caught on video: A Kiwi bicyclist was lucky to get away without serious injuries when he got left hooked — the equivalent of our right hook — by the driver of an SUV; fortunately, he managed to push off the vehicle at the last moment.

An Aussie bike tells drivers yes, we’re human, and we all deserve respect on the road.

An Australian professor says banning tiny vehicles like e-scooters denies us smarter ways to get around urban environments.

Competitive Cycling

American legend Alexi Grewal, the only US Olympian man to win gold in cycling, regrets his winning ride, saying he selfishly rode for himself instead of supporting Davis Phinney as he had agreed.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a pair of pro riders’ Garmins after they crashed during a race.

Finally…

Apparently, riding a bike in a public park is trespassing. Who needs to pedal when you’ve got a fuel cell?

And you know your open streets event was successful when it draws more people than the annual Elks Parade.

Morning Links: Nipsey Hussle was one of us, and kindhearted cop replaces 91-year old Tarzana woman’s stolen bike

The late Nipsey Hussle was one of us.

………

A 91-year old Tarzana woman is back on the road after a kindhearted cop teamed with Reseda Bicycles to replace her stolen adult tricycle.

………

Local

CD2 Councilmember Paul Krekorian, who killed a shovel-ready plan for bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd, says climate change is creating a sense of global urgency, and young Angelenos want “land use decisions to be used in a way that creates walkability, bike-ability, and proximity between work, entertainment and homes.” Never mind that the Lankershim bike lanes he killed would have addressed both of those concerns. But hey.

Two Lincoln Heights teachers and an Olympic cyclist have teamed to form the LA LA Bike Club at the Los Angeles Leadership Academy, giving students an alternative to drug use and gang activity.

State

No surprise here. Encinitas bicycle advocate and local leader Roberta Walker and her husband have filed a claim against the city for the crash that left her with critical injuries last December, arguing that the signage and sharrows she was riding on were confusing and contributed to the crash. And that there should have been a bike lane, instead.

San Diego trauma surgeons say the rash of scooter-related injuries goes on, though they won’t give any actual figures until a journal study comes out later this year.

Hoodline ranks the five best bike shops in San Diego. The question is whether San Diego bicyclists would actually agree.

Oakland has released the draft of their proposed 2019 bike plan for public comment. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A pair of Napa parents are committed to promoting bicycle safety after their 11-year old son was seriously injured when he was struck by a driver while crossing the street on his bike; naturally, the driver wasn’t charged.

National

Outside discusses five insects everyone can eat. Most bike riders have probably eaten a few before learning to ride with their mouths closed.

Looks like Seattle is retreating on its bike-friendly reputation. A week after pulling the plug on a long-planed bike lane, Seattle scratches plans for 22 proposed bikeways, requiring an update in the city’s Bike Master Plan.

Speaking of Seattle, the local paper offers seven reasons to buy an ebike.

Grand Junction CO makes a big deal over their new sharrows, saying they show where bicyclists are allowed to use the full lane — before noting that they don’t actually change anything.

Texas bike riders participating in the Ride for Reading San Antonio program collect books each month, then ride to distribute them to local schools. Meanwhile, a San Antonio, Texas bike shop owner was killed by an alleged drunk driver, who said she saw his bike and flashing lights, but somehow couldn’t avoid hitting him.

An Austin, Texas writer discovers she actually can give up driving for a month and survive. And likes it.

A group of bike-riding teenagers swarmed Boston’s former Big Dig tunnel, taking over two lanes of the freeway on the O’Neill Tunnel until they were herded out by police. Although I’m more concerned by the driver who used a handheld cellphone to record them.

Queens residents demand the NYDOT finish the uncompleted bike lane on Queens Blvd, despite loud organized opposition.

Streetsblog informs New York’s bike-riding police commissioner that many of the department’s rank-and-file don’t share his bike-friendly attitude.

A new short film shows New York’s ill-advised war on ebikes through the eyes of the Chinese delivery people who bear the brunt of if.

A Virginia man was given eight life sentences without the possibility of parole for the rape and murder of a Muslim teenager who was walking to a Ramadan service with a group of friends; the incident began with road rage when he honked at a bike rider in the group, who angered him by yelling back at him.

They get it. Business owners along a Baton Rouge LA street undergoing a road diet say it will be worth it once the work is finished. Even if the work is 18 months behind schedule.

International

They’re some of us, too. US Magazine shows bike-riding celebs around the world. Depending on how you define celebrities, of course. Although I like Lea Michelle, who said she kept a bicycle on the Paramount lot to bike to the set and back.

A bike-riding Toronto man is on trial for fatally bludgeoning a family friend with a steel pipe for no apparent reason.

The BBC’s Piers Morgan insists that bike riders should be licensed and insured, accusing riders of being “completely unaccountable,” “invisible people marching around anonymously on your bikes creating havoc.” Maybe someone should explain to him how bicycling works, because marching ain’t it.

Bicycle and motorized scooter-based ambulances are expanding the reach of healthcare in Uganda.

A Chinese man was critically injured when he was struck by a bicycle. No, it was a riderless bikeshare bike that someone threw out the window of a tall building.

The Chinese woman who cheated in a marathon by riding a bike for much of the route has received a well-deserved lifetime ban. Hope that 5 hour, 38 minute time was worth it; makes you wonder how long she would have taken without cheating.

Competitive Cycling

Dutch Continental rider Robbert de Greef was placed in a medically induced coma after suffering a heart attack while competing.

Italian downhill racing legend Corrado Hérin was killed when the ultralight plane he was piloting crashed.

Finally…

Build your own 37 mph, handlebar-free ebike ‘bent. Apparently, you’re not supposed to ride a bicycle pulling a suitcase on a Shanghai freeway.

And here’s a second chance if you missed yesterday’s round of April Fools gags.

Although I think the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies won the day.

Eleven-year old boy dies after falling off his bicycle; second Fontana child killed in three weeks

Just heartbreaking.

For the second time in just three weeks, a Fontana boy has died after falling off his bike.

And this time, no cars or drivers were involved.

According to a news release from the Fontana Police Department, a group of boys were riding their bike together at an apartment complex on the 9200 block of Citrus Ave around 3 pm Sunday.

An 11-year old boy somehow touched wheels with the eight-year old riding ahead of him, and fell off his bike after crashing into his handlebars.

His mother tried to drive him to the emergency room, but stopped to call for help along the way. Paramedics arrived to provide care and take the boy the rest of the way to a Fontana hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

No ID has been been provided for the victim.

Police note that neither child was wearing a helmet, despite California law requiring a bike helmet for any child under 18. However, they added that it did not appear to be a factor in this crash, suggesting that he did not die from a head injury.

This is at least the 17th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

He’s also the second child to die in Fontana after falling off his bike in the last three weeks; a 13-year old boy was killed after allegedly falling in front of an oncoming car last month.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the vicitm and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

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