Morning Links: Backsliding on road diets and bike lanes in Playa del Rey, and dockless bikeshare in LA

So much for that.

Councilmember Mike Bonin has announced plans to scrap the road diet on Jefferson and Culver Blvds in Playa del Rey. New plans call for removing the bike lanes and restoring one westbound lane; bikes and pedestrians will now share a single “protected” shoulder on one side.

Needless to say, the anti-road diet forces were quick to claim victory.

Which means we might as well give up on Vision Zero and the mobility plan; they mean absolutely nothing if every safety improvement can get reversed if drivers don’t like it.

Photo of Culver Blvd from Streetsblog LA.


Councilmember David Ryu has introduced a motion that could allow dockless bikeshare in the City of Los Angeles.

Ryu’s motion would instruct LADOT and Bureau of Street Services to work with the City Attorney to develop a pilot program to test dockless bikeshare in the city; according to LAist, LADOT has already been in discussions with various bikeshare providers.


The problem with that is the people using those bikes will need safe places to ride, which they won’t find in Ryu’s district.

While he hasn’t actively opposed key bike lanes like some of his colleagues, he’s also done little or nothing to move them forward, in a distract starved for safe bicycle access.

And he has blocked implementation of a long planned and desperately needed road diet on 6th Street between Fairfax and LaBrea, despite the strong support of the local neighborhood council.

We’ll have more on that tomorrow.


Heal the Bay is hosting a free, casual bike ride to explore Ballona Creek and the Ballona Wetlands this Saturday.


Today’s common theme, collisions between people on bikes and on foot.

A woman in Spokane WA says she was run down by a bike rider while walking on a trail, and claims it may have been intentional because he was angry afterwards.

Two people — most likely a bicyclist and pedestrian — were injured in a crash on a popular Chicago pathway.

A British man is criticizing the police investigation of the collision that killed his wife, even though the bike rider who crashed into her as she crossed the street appears to have been riding legally at the time of the crash.


The war on bikes goes on.

In a horrifying case, a Kansas driver is facing a first-degree premeditated murder charge after admitting that he intentionally sped up to run a bike rider down.

A North Carolina driver has been charged with simple assault for repeatedly punching a cyclist in the face after attempting to run him off the road; the one-sided fisticuffs were caught on dashcam video.

And a road raging driver drove onto a bike path in an attempt to deliberately run down an Australian bike rider, then made a U-turn to come after her again before she escaped by riding into traffic and hiding in the bushes.


In non-bike news, Streetsblog LA founder Damien Newton has formed a group attempting to raise $1 million to buy the Santa Monica Daily Press, and run it as a non-profit.

As causes go, you could do a lot worse with your money.


Once again, a cyclist blows a win by celebrating too soon. Though the site’s description of him as cocky and showboating seem pretty far off base.

Italian cyclist Stefano Pirazzi has been banned for four years for doping before the Giro d’Italia, joining a long line recent busted dopers. Which begs the question of whether the doping era is really over, or if cycling teams have just gotten better at hiding it.

Busted French motor doper Cyril Fontayne says he’s not the only one cheating by using a small electric motor hidden inside a bike frame, although he claims he was only using it to help his sciatica.



Streetsblog looks at UCLA’s new 130-bike bikeshare system.

LA Magazine says changes have to be made to make walking to the Grove and Beverly Center from the coming Purple Line a less frightening and dangerous experience. The same goes for riding a bike, as well.

Santa Monica has installed new bike boxes at the intersections of Broadway and 11th and Ocean and California.

The Santa Monica College student paper offers advice on how to get started and stay safe riding a bike.

Long Beach bike shop City Grounds has closed down it East Village retail outlet after nine years.



Governor Brown signed a bill making it legal to cross in a crosswalk while the timer is counting down, as long as you get to the other side before it expires. However, the law does not apply to older crossing signals without a timer.

San Francisco passes an otherwise toothless ordinance allowing authorities to confiscate bikes from bicycle chop shops, but without any legal consequences; homeless advocates object because selling bicycles that may or may not belong to them is one of the few ways homeless people can earn money.

A new pilot program will allow ebikes on three paved trails in the East Bay area.

Bike advocates from around the state are converging on Sacramento for Calbike’s annual California Bicycle Summit.



Bad ideas never die. A new bike is renewing the idea of a propelling a bicycle by moving the handlebars as well as pedaling, despite other failed attempts.

A bike-riding Illinois boy is a hero, after riding for help when he spotted a neighbor’s house on fire.

A Detroit woman out for an early morning bike ride was abducted, robbed and sexually assaulted by two men in a van. A tragic reminder that women face risks on the road that male riders don’t.

AAA is now offering bicycle services in the Detroit area. Meanwhile, SoCal AAA still doesn’t seem to understand that a lot of their customers ride bikes, too — and they might have more customers if they did.

The New York Times considers how to bike commute and stay fashionably dressed at work.



Cycling Weekly shares stories of bike riders who came to the rescue of others.

A British Columbia deer could face charges for assault on a bike-riding police officer, however, it may be hard to find without a license plate.

No surprise here. A new report shows half of the collisions on an Ottawa, Canada bike path result from right hooks; a Toronto paper offers advice on how to avoid those, and other road hazards.

Caught on video: A mountain biker takes a knife-edge ride across an Austrian mountain ridge.

In a landmark case, a South African driver has been sentenced to three years for a fatal hit-and-run; it marks the first time a driver has been sentenced for fleeing the scene after killing a bike rider in that country.



Apparently, not riding your bike really can drive you crazy. Seriously, don’t believe the navigation system on your phone.

And Chinese dockless bikeshare giants Mobike and Ofo are in merger talks.

Let’s hope they do. And call the new company Mofo.


Morning Links: Nefarious plot to make people bike, induced demand school parking, and French motor doping

He’s back.

The latest piece from the apparently non-existent LA lawyer Richard Lee Abrams describes the city’s mobility plan as being an evil plot to force people out of their cars and onto transportation appropriate for 1895 New York.

He also accuses the city of capitalizing on pedestrian deaths to meet that nefarious goal, rather than just, say, trying to keep anyone else from getting killed.

Never mind that the easy solution he recommends for improving safety on Vista del Mar is exactly what the city tried. And then undid when South Bay commuters were revolting.


Induced demand applies to parking garages, too. Yet Studio City’s exclusive Harvard-Westlake school wants to build a 750-space parking garage anyway, instead of encouraging alternative transportation and demanding safe routes to school.


Leading Ethiopian cyclist Tsgabu Grmay will be competing for Trek on the WorldTour next year.

The French Cat 3 racer busted for motor doping over the weekend tried to escape after noticing officials were watching him, leading to a brief car chase; he could face fraud charges. Note to cheaters: always try to hide the wire leading from the battery hidden in your water bottle.

Fans saved the cancelled Philadelphia International Cycling Classic, which will be back next year under a new name.



Vision Zero LA says a record 177 LA area schools will participate in Wednesday’s National Walk & Bike to School Day.

Jim Shanman posts a photo showing the Ballona Creek Bike Path will be closed between 8 am and 4 pm between Duquesne and Overland in Culver City through the 5th.

Streetsblog offers photos of Sunday’s Coast open streets event in Santa Monica.

The Long Beach Marathon runs this Sunday, including a 20-mile bike ride preceding the race.



CiclaValley says bicycling from Ventura to Santa Barbara is the perfect ride for all cyclists.

The Morongo Basin is developing its first active transportation plan, thanks to a $200,000 grant from the Southern California Association of Governments.

An Op-Ed in the Mercury News calls for ensuring that active transportation funds from a Santa Clara County transportation sales tax are used for projects that actually work.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition unveils a new Ride With Respect campaign to encourage bicyclists to show more respect for others navigating the roads with us.

Sacramento will show how it intends to improve safety with a pop-up demonstration of its first parking-protected bike lane, along a reduction from three to two lanes to slow traffic. The plan appears to be a mirror image of the Venice Great Streets project that has led to near rebellion by some Westside drivers.



Bicycling has tips on what to consider before you buy a bicycle-shaped object bike at Walmart. Although you’re usually better off visiting your local bike shop, instead.

Great photo from the Seattle Times shows a BMX rider catching some serious air in mid-flip.

A Colorado Springs CO bike rider was killed in a collision with an unmarked police car; it’s the third bicycling fatality in the city this year, after none the previous two years.

Drivers in Dearborn MI now have to give bike riders a five-foot passing distance.

New York’s DA refuses to prosecute a bike rider who crashed into pedestrian last summer, even though the victim was crossing in the crosswalk with the walk signal. For once a bike rider has been held to the same standard most motorists are after a crash. None.

Four hundred New York cyclists raised over $650,000 to support mental health, domestic violence and supportive housing programs sponsored by the Jewish Board on a ride preceding the high holidays.

Even in New York, where lane reductions and bike lanes have successfully increased safety and livability, new plans are still getting pushback in neighborhoods where residents prefer parking, instead.

DC’s bikeshare system plans a $5 million expansion next year, even as competition from dockless bikeshare systems flood the market.

Florida announces plans for a massive eight-lane bridge in Tampa Bay, complete with a protected bike and pedestrian lane and an option for future rail.



The new leader of Canada’s third-largest political party is one of us. New Democratic Party leader and Brompton owner Jagmeet Singh calls for the country to develop a National Cycling Strategy. Which is something the US has never even considered.

Great idea. A women’s business site talks to the founder of a British company that’s solved the problem of children outgrowing bicycles by leasing bikes, then exchanging them for a new bike as your child grows.

UK police are looking for a man who crashed his bicycle into three people while illegally riding on the sidewalk, then got up and attacked them, leaving one man unconscious and breaking a woman’s nose.

Paris took open streets to the max on Sunday, banning motor vehicles from most of the city in an effort to fight pollution and encourage cleaner transportation.

European ebike makers have complained to the European Commission, accusing Chinese ebike makers of dumping their bikes below the cost of production.

The arrival of a Chinese dockless bikeshare company could mean the end of a free, city-owned bikeshare system in Adelaide, Australia.

You’ll still be able to ruin your lungs by smoking on a nearly 10-mile Australian inter-city bike path.

Sidney, Australia calls for a crackdown on rogue scofflaw delivery cyclists.



Your next DIY bike could have front wheel drive — and you sit on the handlebars. And if you’re unemployed, just “get on your bike and find a job” with gorgeous EU women.

Or so says a British MP.


Morning Links: Bike SGV advocate Brian Velez passes away, new Vision Zero ad, and tips on videoing cops

More tragic news.

As if there wasn’t enough last week, the Los Angeles bicycling community suffered another big loss when one of the area’s leading advocates passed away unexpectedly.

Bike SGV reports that Brian Velez, outreach coordinator for the San Gabriel Valley advocacy group, died last Wednesday from an undiagnosed illness.

Velez also served as the co-host of Streetsblog’s SGV Connect podcast, as well as creating artwork for his blog.

He was just 33.

He is survived by his parents and his sister Diane, who worked with him as the Safe Routes coordinator for Bike SGV.

A scholarship fund is beingcreated in his name, and a memorial ride will be held in his honor on October 15th; you can find information on both on the Bike SGV website.

I hope you’ll join me in offering our deepest sympathy and prayers for Brian Velez, and all those who loved him.


Vision Zero Los Angeles punts on its first TV spot, using LA Rams punter Johnny Hekker and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to call on drivers to watch their speed and pay more attention to people walking and biking.

Not exactly the hard-hitting ad some of us were hoping for.

But as Streetsblog’s Damien Newton reminds us, maybe it will mark a turning point in steering the conversation back to safety.


The LAPD offers tips reaffirming your 1st Amendment right to film and photograph police officers in public, and how to avoid getting into trouble in the process.

Which is not to say every officer has gotten the memo, or agrees with it. So you may want to copy print this out and carry it with you or commit it to memory.


A couple items were inadvertently left out of last week’s listing of upcoming bike events.

Starting with the 2017 South Bay Cycling Awards, hosted by Cycling in the South Bay author and bike lawyer Seth Davidson. If you make it, say hi to everyone; a great group of people and some very dedicated advocates down there.

The Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition is holding their 5th Annual Pumpkin Patch Pedal this Sunday.

And the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee meets tomorrow night in Hollywood.


Once again, today’s common theme is bikeshare.

Bikeshare has officially opened on the UCLA campus. Your move, USC.

A Venice writer tries out the area’s new Metro Bike bikeshare, and ends up loaning it to a stranger who tried to wrestle it away from her.

As bikeshare flourishes in DC, questions arise of whether the city has the infrastructure to support it.

A bikeshare bike stopped a teenage Australian boy who was terrorizing the public when a bystander threw it under the boy’s SUV, to keep him from running over people on the street.

An Australian professor explains how dockless bikeshare providers actually make money.


Another case of motor doping has been uncovered, as a French amateur rider was caught using a motor hidden inside his bicycle.

Former world team time trial champ Carmen Small retired after suffering her third major concussion since 2006.

Retired Spanish cyclist Oscar Freire says pro racing was much harder back in his day. After which he yelled at the kids to get off his lawn.

Trek is credited with giving men and women equal prize money for a recent cyclocross cup, even though cycling’s international governing body doesn’t believe in equal pay for equal results.

Ventura officials see virtually unlimited potential in hosting next year’s Amgen Tour of California.

The Malibu Times reports on last month’s Malibu Triathlon.



Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman writes about her experience with the LACBC’s recent bike and pedestrian count in South LA.

LAist says Angelenos need to atone for routinely driving a half mile when they could walk, bike or take a bus.

New plans to restore the Ballona Wetlands include options that would remove the concrete and restore Ballona Creek to a more natural state, requiring a realignment of the bike path.

Funding for the $20 million bike, pedestrian and equestrian bridge connecting Glendale and Griffith Park has been approved by the state legislature, and is sitting on Governor Brown’s desk awaiting his signature.

South Pasadena will establish a Bicycle Friendly Business District (pdf) in the downtown area, as part of the Bike Friendly San Gabriel Valley program. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up and pdf.

Santa Clarita has installed a solar-powered bike counter along a commuter bike trail.



San Clemente proposes narrowing existing traffic lanes and installing eight-foot wide buffered bike lanes on Calle Saluda.

San Francisco announces another plan to clear the homeless off a popular bikeway known as the Hairball, after encampments made it nearly impossible to ride through.

Kindhearted Antioch cops teamed with a local bike shop to buy a new bicycle for a 10-year old hit-and-run victim.

A Marin hiker says he was beaten by a trio of mountain bikers who were illegally using a singletrack trail where bikes are prohibited. Seriously, never resort, or respond, to violence except to defend yourself or others.

Modesto plans to sell a $9,000 trained police dog to the family of his handler for just $1, after the officer was killed by a suspected drunk driver while riding his bicycle.



Ford has patented a method to maintain stability on a bicycle and help keep the rider upright. Which in theory could allow countless people who aren’t comfortable balancing on two wheels to get out and ride.

Life is cheap in Idaho, where a truck driver who killed a bike rider was fined just $90 — yes, nine zero — for “inattentive driving;” the victim’s wife was not even allowed to tell the jury her husband had died as a result of the crash.

Country music star Luke Bryan is one of us, as he takes a tour of Austin TX with America’s most famous ex-Tour de France winner.

An Ohio woman rode 1,900 miles from Ohio to Arizona, recreating the route her son took before he died of Ewing’s sarcoma and acute myeloid leukemia.

A New Hampshire city appoints the country’s first bike mayor.

Buffalo NY bicyclists ride to raise funds and awareness for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

More New York bike couriers are mistakenly riding through the Lincoln tunnel, riding past the signs indicating no bikes in the process.

An 84-year old Virginia man faces charges after making a wide turn at high speed and crashing into a woman carrying three children on her bicycle. Once again bringing up the difficult question of how old is too old to safely drive. And how to get older people off the road once they’ve lost their ability to drive safely, which varies from one person to another.



A NASA astronaut will join a pair of scientists in bicycling 600 miles across the Amazon to document the effects of climate change.

City Lab reports that bicycles and parks were lifelines for people affected by last month’s Mexico City earthquake. A reminder that owning a bike with durable tires could be a lifesaver for those of us who live in earthquake country.

A hard-hitting piece by a Toronto columnist says the city’s streets are deadly by design. Not unlike the streets of Los Angeles, which some Westside and South Bay drivers are fighting to keep that way.

British bike advocates have mapped out every bicycling fatality in the UK from 2005 to 2016, discovering in the process that roundabouts are risky for bike riders.

Not a hint of eccentricity here. A Welshman is riding 5,000 miles to Africa to follow the swallows that live in his shed.

A UK cyclist calls out his fellow riders for leaving their trash behind on the road. He’s got a point; it always saddens me to see gel wrappers, blown tubes and spent CO2 cartridges littering popular riding routes.

A bicyclist from Malta says he started bike commuting because he wanted to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. And lost 30 pounds in the process.

Athletes in Turkmenistan gave the country’s president a golden bicycle, which inexplicably appears to be painted green. Although it’s hard to tell what the story’s really trying to say in its broken English.

Brilliant idea from a South African writer, who says drivers should be given an automatic 15-minute timeout on the side of the road when they get pulled over by police for bad driving. Although here in LA, that could result in a massive traffic jam of stopped cars on the side of the roads.



If you’re going to do a good deed, at least keep an eye on your bike. Go to your next Halloween party as a self-driving car.

And congrats, roadies. Your spandex bike shorts are now fashion forward.


Thanks to John Hall for his very generous donation to help support this site.

And let’s all take a moment to remember the victims of last night’s shootings in Las Vegas. And dedicate ourselves to keep things like this from happening again.


Update: 57-year old Hemet woman left to die in San Jacinto hit-and-run

Yet another bike rider has been killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver, left to die on the side of a road just outside San Jacinto in Riverside County.

According to the Press-Enterprise, the victim was found on lying on the eastbound side of the Ramona Expressway, about 590 feet east of Alessandro Avenue, and pronounced dead at 6:26 am.

She was identified as 57-year old Hemet resident Vivian Thomas.

There’s no word on how long she may have been there, or if she might have survived her injuries if the driver had stopped and called for help, as required by law.

Let alone basic human decency.

If and when the hit-and-run driver is caught, he or she should face a 2nd degree murder charge for making a conscious decision to let the victim die. But probably won’t.

This is the 49th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in Riverside County.

Seventeen of those SoCal deaths have been the result of hit-and-run.

Update: The Press-Enterprise reports Thomas was struck from behind by a Chevrolet or GMC truck or SUV. She had been dead about six hours when she was found, placing the time of the crash sometime around or before midnight. 

Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP San Gorgonio Pass office at 951/769-2000.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Vivian Thomas and all her loved ones.


Breaking news: Bike rider killed by apparent drunk driver on Imperial Highway in Hawthorne

The Hawthorne Police Department is reporting that a bike rider was killed crossing Imperial Highway Saturday afternoon.

According to a press release from the department, the victim was riding south across the roadway on the 4300 block of West Imperial Highway when he was struck by a westbound car around 3:50 pm.

He was thrown approximately 100 feet, which suggests he was struck at a significant rate of speed. The car veered into the center median before slamming into a palm tree, sheering it off at the base.

The victim, who hasn’t been identified, was taken to Harbor UCLA Medical Center, where he later died.

Thirty-year old Hawthorne resident Andrew Figueroa was arrested at the scene on suspicion of drunk driving, and could face a manslaughter charge.

A street view shows a divided roadway with three lanes in each direction, with an unsignalized intersection at either end of the block.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective John Dixon of the Hawthorne Police Department Traffic Bureau at 310/349-2701.

This is the 48th bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 21st in Los Angeles County.

And it should be yet another reminder to always carry ID whenever you ride.

Morning Links: Upcoming bike events, possible Topanga Canyon closure, and bike boulevards coming to East LA

Let’s start by catching up with a few bike events coming in the next few weeks.

The LACBC will be hosting a ride along the lower LA River in Paramount this Saturday. That will be followed the next day by the monthly Sunday Funday ride in Elysian Park.

Walk Bike Burbank is holding their Burbank Bike Festival this Sunday.

Warm up for next week’s CicLAvia when Santa Monica’s COAST Open Streets Festival returns for a second year this Sunday.

This Wednesday is National Walk/Bike to School Day.

SoCal cyclocross season starts next weekend in Irvine.

CicLAvia returns to the Heart of LA on October 8th.

With the Olympics coming back to LA, this is a great time to meet legendary ’84 LA Olympic cyclist Nelson “The Cheetah” Vails at Stan’s Bike Shop on October 14th.

Long Beach is bringing back an expanded edition of their popular Beach Streets ciclovía on October 28th.


If your weekend plans included riding Topanga Canyon, you might want to consider another route.

The road will be closed overnight on Saturday and Sunday from PCH to Grand View Drive; the article is unclear whether it will be closed entirely to bikes and pedestrians, or just until 5 am.



In a remarkably one-sided report, the Los Feliz Ledger says opponents of the successful Rowena road diet are awaiting the results of a safety study in hopes of reversing the lane reductions, and are feeling empowered by the reversal of the Vista del Mar road diet.

Metro will be installing a pilot bikeshare kiosk in Echo Park in time for next week’s CicLAvia in an effort to gauge demand for bikeshare in the area.

The anti-road diet mania in Los Angeles apparently hasn’t cowed county officials, who are moving forward with plans for at least one on the Eastside, as well as several other bike safety projects, including a pair of bike boulevards.

A cyclist helped come to the rescue when a car went off the road on Glendora Mountain Road yesterday.

The LA Times says greater density is the solution to California’s environmental and affordable housing crises, not sprawl-inducing developments like Newhall Ranch, however environmentally friendly they may strive to be.



A 21-year old plan to improve downtown Del Mar is finally moving forward, including widened sidewalks and bike lanes on Camino del Mar.

San Francisco police are looking for a bike-born dog-napper who threatened the dog’s owner with a golf club.

San Francisco Streetsblog asks whatever happened to the word “allegedly,” as the press is quick to blame the person on two wheels in any crash. I’d like to know the answer to that one myself.

Sports Illustrated takes in a San Francisco hill climb competition with inclines up to 21%. Which would elicit yawns from anyone who’s competed in LA’s own Feel My Legs I’m A Racer seven hill climb. (Correction: It’s a ten hill climb; thanks to CiclaValley for the tip.)

Thirteen bicyclists are riding from Reno NV to San Francisco to honor EMS workers who have died recently.

Horrifying story from Stockton, where three boys forced an eight-year old kid into a house and beat him severely, before stealing his bicycle and $16 — then posted the video on Instagram.

Evidently, San Jose hasn’t gotten the memo that road diets are evil, either.

Great article from Sacramento, where Sactown Magazine makes a call for tactical urbanism, from filling potholes with daisies to DIY protected bike lanes.



The new GoPro promises to unshake your bike cam videos.

A Navajo Nations cop has been charged with murder for crashing into a bicyclist after drinking all night while attending a conference in Arizona; his blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal alcohol limit.

A long-time Iowa radio DJ and a member of the state’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was killed when he allegedly turned his bike into the path of an oncoming car.

Life is cheap in New York, where a negligent driver, whose boat detached from the car pulling it and killed a 21-year old woman riding her bike, will serve just 60 days behind bars.

A new interactive New York map will tell you when bikeshare is your fastest travel option. And it usually is.

Philadelphia adopts a Vision Zero plan, vowing to end traffic deaths by 2030.



If you own a Brompton made in the last four years, take it back to the dealer; the company is recalling all models made between 2014 and 2017 due to a problem with the bottom bracket.

A new London play was inspired by a ghost bike installed for the victim of a 2009 bicycling crash.

The British press is in an uproar over brakeless fixies, even though a fixie is a brake in the hands of a skilled rider. The problem comes when inexperienced cyclists try to ride brakeless, without the skills or leg strength to stop their bikes.

A British woman complains that her husband loves his bike more than her.

The Italian supreme court has officially ruled that cycling legend Marco Pantani wasn’t murdered.



Before you ride 7,500 miles to pedal your bike around a famed racetrack, make sure they allow bicycles. Go ahead and pedal your bike while drunk, but don’t paddle your canoe.

And maybe the problem is too many American drivers are selfish assholes.


Update: Bicyclist killed in fall on Santiago Canyon Road Wednesday

More bad news.

According to the Orange County Register, a 56-year old Aliso Viejo man was killed when he fell off his bike on Santiago Canyon Road on Wednesday.

The paper reports he suffered significant injuries when he fell west of the 241 Freeway, suggesting he may have been traveling at a high rate of speed.

He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Photos from the scene show around eight to ten other riders waiting as police investigate, suggesting he may have been on a group ride when he crashed.

He is the third SoCal cyclist whose death has come to light in the past 24 hours, all of whom appear to have been involved in solo crashes or falls while riding with a group.

This is the 47th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth in Orange County. It’s also at least the third fatal bike crash on Santiago Canyon in the last six years.

Update: I’m told the victim was Aliso Viejo resident John Smith; reports indicate his front tire blew out after hitting a sharp rock at 40 mph.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for John Smith and all his loved ones.


Morning Links: Bike riders rescue woman in Santa Clarita, and dumping bikeshare bikes in all the wrong places

Let’s call this Morning Links lite.

Writing about bicycling fatalities in San Diego and Laguna Canyon — with a third in Santiago Canyon still to come — left limited time to write today’s post.

So we’re just hitting the highlights today. Or lowlights, in some cases.

We’ll be back with a more detailed report tomorrow.



Bike riders, including a retired police officer, come to the rescue when a 70-year old woman was attacked on a Santa Clarita bike path; a 29-year old transient from Orange County was arrested on an attempted murder charge. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare is getting an updated look, and a new Instagram contest to help promote it.

You could soon find yourself sharing Santa Monica bike lanes with new rental e-scooters.



Bicycle safety is now officially part of the curriculum in Atascadero elementary schools.

Pleasanton has installed a permanent memorial to a 72-year old woman killed in a bicycling crash last year, following a number of bike and pedestrian safety improvements after her death.

Sad news from Petaluma, where a 74-year old bike rider was killed in a collision while making a left turn.



Your next Trek could come with batteries.

Bicycling offers advice on how to climb up a really tough hill. Without resorting to an ebike, that is.

Life is cheap in Colorado, where a driver still hasn’t started his five-month sentence for killing an eight-year old girl as she rode her bike, despite accepting the slap-on-the-wrist plea deal in April. Which means he would have been out already otherwise.

A Chicago weekly looks at female Mormon missionaries and their bikes.

Michigan considers requiring a statewide five foot passing distance in the wake of last year’s Kalamazoo massacre.

The organizers of a St. Louis century ride apologize to the Jewish community for scheduling the ride on Yom Kippur.

New York’s mayor throws bike riders under the bus, ignoring stats from his own Department of Transportation showing protected bike lanes improve safety for everyone and enhance compliance with traffic laws.

Now that’s more like it. A South Carolina woman was sentenced to ten years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider.



A Toronto writer says bicycling brings out the worst version of herself. If that’s as bad as she gets, she should be a candidate for sainthood.

Caught on video: A total jackass records himself leaning out of a car window to shove a London bicyclist off his bike and into a bus stop sign, as his equally obnoxious passengers laugh. Hopefully they’ll catch these jerks and give them the jail time they so richly deserve.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a customized adaptive bike from a severely disabled British man with cerebral palsy.

The war on bikes continues, as a man in the UK is on trial for allegedly punching a passing bike rider in the face, and sending him crashing through the rear window of a van.

An Aussie website calls Warsaw, Poland, the picturesque bike-friendly European capital you’ve never heard of.

Just like dockless bikeshare systems around the world, Australian bikeshare bikes continue to be dumped in all the wrong places. Although Aussies may be taking “wrong places” to a whole new level.



As long as you’re riding your bike on a river anyway, you might as well clean it up a bit.

And Phil Gaimon’s Worst Retirement Ever takes on Boulder CO.

Update: LA County Sheriff’s Deputy dies after falling in San Diego century ride

Sad news from San Diego, where a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy died nearly two weeks after falling in a century ride.

Brian Villa, a 29-year veteran of the department, fell while riding in the Orange County Wheelmen’s Amtrak Century on September 9th.

He suffered a severe head injury, and was taken to a local hospital in grave condition; he was taken off life support and passed away on the 21st.

The crash apparently occurred somewhere between Solano Beach and Torrey Pines in San Diego County.

Villa was training for the annual Police Unity Tour. He leaves behind a wife and two teenage children.

A ride will be held in Irvine on October 28th to raise funds for his family, while a GoFundMe page has raised over $25,000, $10,000 more than the $15,000 goal.

This is the 46th bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the fourth in San Diego County. Six of those have been the result of solo falls.

Update: I’m told Villa was 56 years old, and may have been a resident of Orange County. He had participated in the Unity Tour in 2015.

A source places the location at 200 Camino Del Mar in Del Mar. The photo of the site below showing a deep pothole suggests why he may have crashed.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the Brian Villa and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Bill Sellin, Ellen Steel and Greg “Sarge” Christopherson for the heads-up.

Photo from GoFundMe page

Morning Links: Streetsblog talks with LACBC’s Erik Jansen, Massachusetts bikelash, and CiclaValley hits a deer

It’s a light news day, so let’s get right to it.

Then get out on your bike and enjoy this beautiful LA weather.


Forbes says the Israel start for next year’s Giro poses a difficult dilemma for pro cycling’s two Arab-owned teams, who must decide whether to participate in the Arab boycott of the country.

Call it Lance’s revenge. The French lab that uncovered proof of his doping has been provisionally suspended by the world anti-doping agency.

Italian cycling great Mario Cipollini complains that the dominance of Chris Froome and Peter Sagan has made bike racing boring. Maybe he didn’t see Sagan’s three-inch come-from-behind victory in Sunday’s world championships.



Streetsblog offers an interview with new LACBC Executive Director Erik Jansen.

Bicycling talks with former UCLA triathlete Nako Nakatsuka, who was unfairly sued by the driver who hit her, about her new bike advocacy website Bike Woke.

Wallet Hub ranks the most fun cities in the US, based on criteria that includes bike rentals and hiking trails, but not bikeways. Which may be why Los Angeles just barely missed the top ten, checking in at number twelve. That’s better than Oxnard, though, which ranks as the least fun city in the US.

San Francisco’s Beyond Chron website looks at former USC bike repairman Lil Bill Flournoy, who was unceremoniously booted off campus last year, and now fixes bikes on a city-owned space across from the university.

CiclaValley collides with a deer while riding on Mulholland. And of course, does it when his bike cam isn’t working.



A German dentist paused briefly in San Diego on his 19,000-mile bike ride from Argentina to Alaska.

A San Francisco supervisor is shocked to learn Uber and Lyft drivers illegally use bike and transit lanes; people who bike and ride buses, not so much.

Bay Area bike shops are being plagued by a serial test-ride thief.



Former DC and Chicago transportation director Gabe Klein says smart cities are the wave of the future.

Bighearted Idaho paramedics bought a new bike for a 13-year old boy after his was damaged when he was hit by a driver, along with bike helmets for his brothers and sisters.

A kindhearted stranger bought a new bike for an Illinois boy battling cancer after his bike was stolen.

An Indiana suburb is proving that it is possible to remake the streets to accommodate everyone.

It’s not just LA. Cambridge MA is experiencing their own bikelash as residents rise up to complain about the overly rapid implementation of a whole 1.25 miles of bike lanes in one year, leading to an apology from the mayor. Yes, just over a single mile.

New York bicyclists complain they’re being left out of a redesign of New York’s famed Fifth Avenue.

A New York man faces up to 15 years behind bars after being convicted in the hit-and-run death of a Queens bike advocate.

An Op-Ed in the Washington Post says it was reckless for lawmakers to drop a requirement that all bikes must have a bell, insisting that a polite little ding is more effective than yelling a warning.



A cyclist from my hometown rides the route traveled by Spanish conqueror Cortes from Veracruz to Mexico City.

A Toronto Op-Ed says new separated bike lanes are encouraging more “normal” people to come out and ride, while noting that removing these lanes could make those people go away.

Caught on video: Sometimes it’s the cops who violate safe passing laws, coming within inches of a UK bicyclist on a blind corner.

Britain’s Labour Party pledges to invest £10 per person for bike and pedestrian projects each year. Which would work out to roughly $4.3 billion here in the US. Note: I originally wrote $4.3 trillion; thanks to Andy S. for the correction

A writer in the Guardian says Google Maps must be improved if it’s going to be useful for bike riders, including information on bike parking once you get where you’re going.

It takes a truly massive schmuck to steal the custom racing handcycle specifically made for an Aussie Paralympic cyclist, which even can’t be used by anyone else.

Motorists in five Australian states will now face a $159 fine for violating their equivalent of a three foot law, prohibiting passing closer than one meter on roads with speed limits over 37 mph, and one and a half meters over that.

China’s bikeshare boom is cutting into the demand for gas.



Give up your ironic hipster beard or your Belgian cycling career. And yes, your new Google Levi jacket can make and receive texts and calls, but you may have to put up with the smell.


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