Tag Archive for assault with a deadly weapon

Morning Links: Road raging drivers and pedestrians around the world, and a Montrose movement to reward riders

Let’s start off today with a pair of truly horrific road raging stories from the Boston area that once again drive home just who we share the roads with.

In the first, a tow truck driver is in critical condition following a fatal collision.

Just not from the crash.

After he struck and killed a woman as she was crossing the street, her son pulled out a knife and stabbed him five times, shouting “You killed my mom!”

The driver swore he didn’t see her as he ran around the truck trying to escape.

In the second, a road raging driver intentionally ran down a pair of scooter riders for the crime of not using the bike lane.

The victims can be seen clinging to the hood of the driver’s car as she flees after running over their scooters.

Fortunately, they only suffered minor injuries, and the driver was quickly captured, according to a Boston news site.

Pires, of Cambridge, was arrested and brought back to the Everett Police Department, where she was charged with four counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon; leaving the scene of an accident with personal injury and driving to endanger.

Steve Spence forwards a photo of the ghost bike that was installed last night for the victim in Monday’s fatal crash in the San Fernando Valley; the victim still has not been publicly identified. 

Let that be another reminder to ride — and drive — safely and defensively at all times.

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Evidently, he was telling the truth.

A road raging London driver who told several bike riders he was driving a stolen car as he deliberately swerved at them, and threatened to run them over, has pled guilty to auto theft and dangerous driving, as well as a number of other charges.

Here’s the video of the assault to refresh your memory.

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Local

Montrose cyclist Sean Hall has started the No Braques movement to reward riders who push the limits, with cash out of his own pocket.

 

State

A map prepared by UC Davis shows where in California animals are most likely to end up as roadkill. Make sure the roads you ride aren’t on there. Because you don’t want to end up as roadkill, either.

The California Coastal Commission has approved plans to add a 10-foot wide multi-use path to an existing train trestle over the San Lorenzo River in Santa Cruz.

 

National

Bicycling looks at the problem of cultural appropriation in the bike industry, and four companies that are doing it right. The story they cite of Czech brand Apache Bicycles is seriously cringe inducing.

Caught on video: A Portland bike rider is nearly run down by someone driving in a two-way plastic-post protected bike lane without headlights.

A local Reno NV website visits the Interbike bike industry trade show to look at the latest products, including a stop at ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis’ cannabis-infused Floyd’s of Leadville booth. Am I the only one who continues to be amused by a former cyclist who was stripped of his title for doping getting into the pot business?

A Mashable writer joins in on a 600-mile ride from Irvine to Interbike on an ebike. But no, Irvine’s Brian Sarmiento was far from the first person to bike to the Vegas-based Interbike from out of town; I’ve known a number of people who rode from LA to Vegas for the show over the years.

Speaking of Reno, the city will dedicate a new bike path alongside a highway in honor of a woman who was killed on her way to a California bike race three years ago.

Santa Fe police have purchased a bike sonar device to enforce the city’s five-foot passing law; the device goes on an officer’s handlebars, and measures the distance to a passing car. We’ve tried to talk the LAPD into trying the same device, without any success so far.

A Colorado Springs CO newspaper displays its windshield bias with an editorial that calls on the city to stop impeding traffic by building bike lanes; readers have mixed opinions on their success. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

A Texas teenager refused to give up when her local city council wouldn’t listen, and went back a second time to demand safer streets after her friend was killed as he was riding his bike.

A Minneapolis woman fulfills a promise to herself by biking to work for the first time, and discovers she actually likes it.

A Detroit clothing store is teaming with a bike co-op to conduct a third annual bike drive; the drive has collected 400 bikes for local kids in its first two years.

Indianapolis sheriff’s deputies stopped a fleeing bike rider who failed to register as a sex offender by crashing into him head-on; bystanders accused the deputies of doing it on purpose.

A writer for Bicycle Times describes how the 275-mile Boston to New York Cycle for the Cause ride gave him hope during the AIDS crisis.

The owners of a mom-and-pop bike shop in Tennessee will lead a fundraising ride to fight human trafficking.

A Concord, New Hampshire paper calls for ticketing delivery vehicles blocking bike lanes.

 

International

No bias here. Bike Radar asks if shaved legs are hot or not. Never mind that some of their readers might be women who shave their legs for reasons that have nothing to do with bicycling.

The Conservative party leaders in Quebec intend to cut the size of Toronto’s city council, because “All (the) city council wants to do is build bicycle lanes.” Which seems like a pretty good reason to keep it just the way it is.

The Sun explains what’s going on with Saturday’s World Car Free Day. Which will be observed in Los Angeles by most people continuing to drive everywhere, as usual.

An Irish woman turned to bicycling to quit smoking, cut back on drinking and revamp her lifestyle.

Cyclist examines noteworthy classic bikes from Italian bikemaker Bianchi in words and pictures.

Photos of Israeli highways on Yom Kippur that look like CicLAvia.

Caught on video too: An Aussie bike rider is nearly run down by a motorist in an SUV who was driving in a bike lane.

Verge says Trump’s trade war with China could put the brakes on American bike riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News takes a deep dive into whether women could handle racing a three-week Grand Tour.

It’s been a year since study abroad company EF Education First rescued America’s longest-running WorldTour squad from extinction.

Bicycling profiles Rwanda’s first women’s pro cyclist.

 

Finally…

If you’ve been drinking underage, put a damn light on your bike — and don’t resist arrest. Yes, it’s against the law to run over people on bikes. No, really.

And if your local velodrome is closing, just buy it, dismantle it, move it and rebuild it.

Easy, right?

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The surprising generosity of BikinginLA readers this week continues to blow me away. So let me thank Steven K, Tyrone C and Gold Leaf Films for their generous donations to help support this site. 

As we’ve been saying all week, if everyone who visits this site today donated just $10, it would be more than enough to keep it going for a full year.

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Join the Militant Angeleno and BikinginLA for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour at the Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 CicLAvia on September 30th!

Just RSVP to [email protected] We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

Morning Links: Bay Area bike advocate busted for Biking While Black, and LADOT officer blocks a DTLA bike lane

Was a Richmond bike rider busted in Oakland for Biking While Black?

Najari Smith, the founder and executive director of non-profit group Rich City Rides, was handcuffed and taken into custody on Friday for the crime of playing amplified music while leading a group of kids on a celebratory ride, and forced to spend the weekend in jail.

Which at it’s worst is a violation of the vehicle code, and a just ticketable offense.

Like LA’s East Side Riders, Rich City Rides operates as a bike shop/co-op dedicated to building a better community by getting the people of the economically depressed area onto two wheels. And Smith is respected, if not beloved, as the peacemaking leader of that group.

In fact, Streetsblog reports that Smith was trying to calm young riders angered by the aggressive police tactics when he was arrested. And that he remained calm and respectful throughout, turning down his music when requested by officers.

Not that it appeared to make any difference.

According to Streetsblog, Oakland police issued a statement saying Smith was taken into custody for repeatedly refusing to provide identification after officers approached him for blocking an intersection. Even though that’s not what was written in the citation.

However, police in the East Bay area have a history of cracking down on groups of young black bike riders.

And a Stanford University study showed Oakland police ticketed black riders at six times the rate of white bicyclists, in a city that’s less than one-third black.

Photo shows Najari Smith with the trailer and sound system he was using when he was arrested.

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What does it mean when the people responsible for keeping drivers from blocking bike lanes are the ones blocking them?

In more ways than one.

A bike rider who prefers to remain anonymous forwarded this video of a confrontation with an LADOT Traffic Officer who not only stopped in a DTLA bike lane in heavy traffic, but passive aggressively stood next to her car refusing to move an inch so the rider could get by.

Maybe she was under no obligation to move until she was damn good and ready.

But is it too much to expect a little common courtesy from a city employee, when stepping aside for a few seconds wouldn’t have affected her job performance in the slightest?

Apparently so.

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Once again, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office plea bargains a serious crime down to a mere caress on the wrist, as a French citizen was sentenced to time served — a lousy 18 days — for ramming his SUV into a group of people in DTLA.

That’s despite facing up to eight years on the original five counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

Seriously, how can we expect drivers to take traffic crime seriously if the DA doesn’t?

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Awhile back, we linked to a story about a rapidly growing petition from an Australian anti-bike group that was calling for bicyclists to be required to ride single file.

Now Cycling Tips reveals the results of a months-long investigation in to the hidden face behind the Facebook group behind the petition.

And their surprising discovery that it may be a well-known cyclist who turned against the local cycling community, after most of the local group rides had turned against him.

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Local

Seriously? Public TV station KCET offers ten basic bike tips for a satisfying ride. And the first one is “Wear a helmet.” As I’ve noted before, I never ride without one. But bike helmets should be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails, never the first. Better advice would be telling people to ride defensively.

Keep Rowena Safe is asking for an all-hands on deck turnout for tonight’s meeting of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council’s Transportation and Neighborhood Safety Committee, to counter a suspected effort to undo the successful Rowena road diet.

It’s going to be a busy few months on SoCal streets, as Santa Monica Next announces details of October’s two-mile COAST open streets event in the coastal community. That comes one week after the epic CicLAvia celebrating the LA Phil’s 100th birthday, and a little more than a month after Long Beach gets in on the act.

 

State

Some people just don’t get it. A community planning group in Ramona wants San Diego County to prioritize improving traffic safety before building bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Never mind that building them is how you improve traffic safety.

You’re invited to re-imagine Downtown Ontario tonight with pop-up buffered bike lanes on Euclid Avenue, as well as extended sidewalks and parklets, followed by a free concert in the town square.

A San Jose sidewalk rider asks everyone to just chill out, because he says it’s not that bad, and the streets can be dangerous. Never mind that sidewalk riding is illegal in downtown San Jose, and riding on the sidewalk actually increases your risk of a collision.

 

National

The rich get richer. Portland gets a beautiful new two-way protected bikeway through an industrial zone, even if no one knows its there.

A San Diego native plans to ride an electric wheelchair across the Cascade Mountains through Washington State to call attention to improving accessibility to the outdoors; he was paralyzed when he crashed his bike into a tree ten years ago while he was a student at UC Santa Cruz.

One Tucson AZ letter writer insists not all people on bicycles are jerks, while another says some bike riders don’t use common sense — like walking their bikes across busy intersections. Sure. As soon as drivers get out and push their cars across them.

An Op-Ed in a Colorado newspaper says mountain bikes shouldn’t be banned from wilderness areas.

A Colorado triathlete recounts the story of the horrifying crash with a careless driver that left her severely injured — and how the police and press got the story wrong because they could only talk with the driver afterwards.

A Colorado town pats itself on the back for improving safety for bike riders — by banning them from riding on sidewalks in the central business district.

Witness the Ofo graveyard, where yellow Dallas dockless bikeshares go to die. You’d think they could donate some of those bikes to homeless or underprivileged people. But evidently, you’d be wrong.

 

International

CNN looks at how children around the world get to school. Hint: Kids in the US don’t ride bikes. Or walk, for that matter.

A bike rider in British Columbia suffers potentially life-threatening injuries when he’s hit by a driver. But all the local paper seems to care about is the road that was closed as a result.

Calgary bicyclists complain after the city botched several bike path detours, forcing riders onto dangerous streets. Sort of like the repeated closures of the LA River bike path around Griffith Park, part of which remains closed through next year.

The Royal Canadian Mounties have recovered ten racing bikes stolen from a Malaysian track cycling team last month, hidden in an abandoned property outside of Edmonton.

An English bike rider wants to thank the bystanders who lifted a car off his leg following a crash.

A British children’s TV host is offering a reward for the return of his stolen ebike, which he named after his brother who died last year after suffering from Down’s Syndrome and dementia.

The New York Times offers a moving look at Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan, the American bike tourists murdered by ISIS terrorists in Tajikistan. Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

Israel announces plans to build nearly 375 miles of bike paths to connect with existing paths, forming a 750-mile bikeway stretching across the country.

An Australian city attempts to save lives by experimenting with the equivalent of an 18 mph speed limit.

 

Competitive Cycling

The women’s winner of last year’s Colorado Classic will join the winner of the 2018 women’s Amgen Tour of California, and over 80 other riders, as she attempts to defend her title in this year’s race.

Aussie cyclist Simon Gerrans decides to call it a career after 14 years, with wins in Milan-San Remo, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Santos Tour Down Under, as well as stage wins in all three Grand Tours.

Maybe Gerrans shouldn’t be the only one to retire. Germany’s Tony Martin’s comeback from a fractured cervical vertebrae is on hold after his doctors say another fall right now could be fatal.

Scottish residents complain about being trapped in their homes by the time trial in the European road cycling championships.

 

Finally…

Who says you need a truck to move your belongings to a new home? Call it whatever you want, a fanny pack by any other name is still a fanny pack.

And this is not the proper way to carry a bike on your car.

Credit Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery with the link.

 

Driver uses car as weapon to murder San Bernardino bike rider in intentional hit-and-run

Once again, a bike rider has been killed in a San Bernardino crash.

But this time, it was not an accident — in any sense of the word.

According to a press release from the San Bernardino Police Department, 52-year old San Bernardino resident Elroy Preston was riding on the 1400 block of E. Date Street around 6:27 pm Sunday when he was struck by a driver, who fled the scene.

Preston was taken to a local hospital, where he died later that night.

Witnesses reported he was struck by a black Dodge Magnum driven by 34-year old Dominic Deshaun Simmons of Fontana; the two men had been at the same home just before the crash.

Police spotted a vehicle matching the description at a gas station in Rialto, and arrested Simmons on suspicion of murder. He is currently being held without bail.

Simmons has an extensive criminal record, as well as several outstanding warrants for failing to appear for hearings on various charges.

Preston also had a record, though no details are available; no word on what the relationship was between the two men, if any.

Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Oldendorf at 909/384-5619 or Sgt. Kokesh at 909/384-5613.

This is the 59th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th in San Bernardino County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Elroy Preston and all his loved ones.

Morning Links: Dennis Hindman found safe, terrorist attacks bike riders in New York, and Bruins joins Bonin’s staff

Let’s start with the good news.

According to his sister, longtime LA bike advocate Dennis Hindman has been found safe in a San Gabriel hospital after being missing for two months.

Apparently, the Toluca Lake resident has been in the hospital for the entire time he’s been missing.

No word on Hindman’s condition yet, or why his relatives were never notified.

However, a hospital stay of that duration is never a good sign; let’s keep him in our thoughts and prayers until we have more information.

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This time, it was us.

At least eight people were killed when a terrorist claiming an allegiance with ISIS drove 20 blocks down a New York bike path, leaving crumpled bikes and bodies in his path.

At least eleven others were injured.

Five of those killed were Argentine tourists who were visiting the city to celebrate their 30th high school reunion. One of the dead, and three of the people injured, were from Belgium.

The killer was shot by police after crashing his rental truck and exiting waving pellet and paintball guns; at last report he was hospitalized in grave condition after undergoing surgery.

The 29-year old native of Uzbekistan has been a legal resident of the US since 2010; he would have been unaffected by the recent travel bans.

The Associated Press lists other attacks where vehicles have been used as weapons.

Thanks to John Dammann for the heads-up.

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Congratulations to former LACBC Planning and Policy Director Eric Bruins, who is joining CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin’s staff as Transportation Policy Director, replacing longtime aide Paul Backstrom.

Or maybe we should offer our congratulations to Bonin for landing him. And to the people of CD11 for the exceptional hard work and dedication they’re about to receive.

Let’s hope they have the good sense to appreciate it.

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Nothing like rounding a corner in San Clemente, and nearly getting hit head-on by a driver on the wrong side of the road.

Although that little honk from the scofflaw motorist was a nice touch.

Credit Eric Fleetwood for the video, and thanks to David Drexler for forwarding it.

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There may be a lot of cyclists looking for work soon, as UCI’s new president calls for reducing the size of pro cycling teams to just six riders, after next year’s reduction to eight.

And former LA pro Phil Gaimon offers the latest in his Worst Retirement Ever series, as he tackles Colorado’s legendary Mt. Evans Hillclimb, the highest paved road in North America.

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Local

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Susanna Schick, who writes about Move LA’s efforts to keep the city moving, while noting that every time she’s tried to push back against traffic, the cars push back harder.

Selena Gomez is one of us, as she stops to talk with fans while riding her bike in Studio City.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare celebrates its second birthday with a day of free rides this Saturday.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson writes movingly about his friend Rob Dollar, who was killed by an allegedly drunk and stoned teenage driver while riding outside of Phoenix on Sunday.

Long Beach’s Beach Streets wants to know what you thought about this past weekend’s open streets event in the city.

 

State

California’s new twelve cent gas tax increase will kick in today.

San Juan Capistrano will widen Del Obispo Street to remove a bottleneck, adding a lane in each direction, along with bike lanes on either side.

Orange County will begin restricting access to the Santa Ana River Trail in order to control the homeless camps that have sprung up along the trail; starting today the path will be closed from 6 pm to 7 am through the end of February, then 9 pm to 7 am until next October 31st.

San Diego’s city council makes the tough choice to remove parking to make room for bike lanes on University Avenue as part of the city’s Vision Zero program, reducing a gap in the city’s bike network. Meanwhile, the city approved a new connector road that will split existing neighborhoods, which would help complete a regional bike network, even though they’ve failed to track whether they’re meeting ambitious bicycling and transit goals to reduce greenhouse gasses.

An Arroyo Grande man says bike riders aren’t paying the “overinflated vehicle registration fees” car owners do, and suggests an annual $75 fee to ride a bike on the road. Never mind that bikes cause virtually no wear and tear on the road. Or that most bike riders already pay those same vehicle registration fees for one or more motor vehicles.

A middle-aged man was shot in the face while riding his bike near a San Jose light rail station. Thanks to Lynn Ingram for the link.

San Francisco police are looking for a pair of brutal bike-riding San Francisco hat thieves.

 

National

A TV website lists ten things you probably didn’t know about American Flyers.

NACTO says a future of autonomous cars calls for a transportation blueprint that puts people first.

Forbes asks if private dockless bikeshare will become a fixture on college campuses.

Lil Kim is sort of one of us, too, as she teaches her three-year old daughter how to ride a bike.

The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for Colorado’s bike-riding bank robber, the Sneaky Cyclist Bandit. No word on what makes him so sneaky, though.

No bias here. A Denver TV station says the city’s efforts to become more bike-friendly may have hit a snag, because drivers don’t like a new sidewalk, calling it twice as wide as it needs to be.

A Dallas writer says the city can’t handle dockless bikeshare, where abandoned bikes are littering the sidewalks.

Chicago cab drivers are no longer required to drop passengers off at the curb, reducing their liability if someone doors a bicyclist.

Minneapolis has a bicycle-riding, unicorn-costumed candidate for mayor. Maybe Garcetti should consider that approach if he runs for president in 2020.

A Detroit bike co-op gave a new bike to a man with undisclosed medical problems, after the bike he used as his only form of transportation was stolen when he stopped to rest for a few minutes.

A Louisville KY bicyclist declares victory after authorities dropped charges of running a red light and obstructing traffic for not riding in a bike lane; he had claimed there was debris in the bike lane that could have given him a flat.

A New York bus driver was charged with a misdemeanor for the death of a bike rider last year, the first bikeshare rider killed in the city. But at least the driver honked before running him over.

 

International

You can now own your very own $815,000 cycling watch, which comes complete with a limited edition Colnago bike. For that price, it should also come with your own private bikeway to ride it on.

A bike-raging Toronto bike rider gets 18 months probation for an incident caught on video last August, in which a taxi driver intentionally turned into him after he had repeatedly slapped the cab and reached inside for the keys.

A road-raging London driver gets two years for intentionally running over a bike rider, breaking his back — then getting out of his car and telling the injured rider he’d run over him again if he had to.

Apparently they take repeated DUIs seriously in the UK, at least if you kill someone. A woman with three previous drunk driving arrests got eight years for the death of 17-year BMX rider after downing three pints of beer.

Caught on video: A British bicyclist confronts a motorist for driving on the sidewalk to get around a traffic diversion, who was none too happy about it.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t shoot your gun in the air while riding stoned, especially with a previous felony conviction. Your next ebike could run on hydrogen.

And you can now ride your bike through Graceland.

No, not that Graceland.

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Thank you to Alice Strong for her very generous donation to help support this site; you can make a donation anytime to help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day using the PayPal link.

 

Morning Links: Marin driver arrested for swerving into 4 cyclists, and traffic deaths up in US, including bicyclists

Call it attempted murder.

In just the latest horrifying attack on the streets, four cyclists participating in the Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin were injured when a driver allegedly swerved his truck into them.

The pickup driver fled the scene after smashing into them from behind, in an attack that witnesses described as intentional.

One of the riders is in stable condition after suffering major injuries; the other three were not seriously injured.

It’s probably not what any of them expected when they signed up to ride with cycling legend Jens Voigt.

Police later arrested 21-year old Novato resident Aaron Michael Paff, an off-duty maintenance worker for the Marin Municipal Water District.

He was taken into custody roughly 12 hours after the attack, and released on $50,000 bond. There was no word on possible charges as of Sunday night.

However, this should be a case of assault with a deadly weapon, at the bare minimum.

Dr. Christopher Thompson got five years in state prison for a similar assault, in which he intentionally brake-checked a pair of riders on Mandeville Canyon Road in 2008.

Photo of suspect vehicle from CHP. Thanks to everyone who let me know about this case.

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It shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that our streets are getting even deadlier.

In the latest report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic fatalities shot up another 5.6% in the US last year, coming on the heels of an 8.4% increase the year before.

According to the report, there was an increase in almost every category, from pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists, to DUIs and day versus night crashes.

A total of 37,461 people were killed on American streets last year, up from 35,485 the year before.

Four hundred ninety-two pedestrians lost their lives, the highest figure since 1990. And 840 bicyclists were killed, a 1.3% increase and the most since 1991.

It’s worth noting, especially in light of the next item, that an average of over 102 people died in crashes in the US every day — dwarfing the 58 killed in Las Vegas last week.

But no one is holding vigils. No one is sending thoughts and prayers.

And hardly anyone even seems to notice.

Or care.

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Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has written a hard-hitting piece comparing gun violence with the violence on our streets.

In the first instance, Americans have decided that mass shootings are a reasonable and acceptable cost of being able to easily and legally obtain weapons of virtually any kind. In the second, Californians have decided that individual killings of cyclists are a reasonable and acceptable cost for being able to drive as fast as possible to get where they want to go.

Whether or not you agree with his premise, it’s worth the read. Because this is a conversation our country will have to have sooner or later.

And it’s already a lot later than it should be.

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A Belgian cyclist is lucky to walk away after flipping over a barrier at the Giro di Lombardia, as Vincenzo Nibali takes his 50th career win.

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Local

An LA company presents its vision for a four-mile section of the LA River, calling it the LA River Gateway.

One letter writer in the LA Times asks if drivers who object to bike lanes have a better solution, while another says traffic has always been bad in Playa del Rey, and it’s not the bike lanes’ fault.

 

State

New bicycle wayfinding signs go up in Highland.

The Southern California Association of Governments has approved nearly $10 million in funding for active transportation projects in the Coachella Valley.

Ventura County approves construction of bike lanes along Potrero Road near Lake Sherwood.

Sad news from Arroyo Grande, where a woman was killed while riding her bike on the popular Corbett Canyon Road; the driver played a variation of the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming he couldn’t see her because the sun was in his eyes. Even though admitting something like that should be a confession, not an alibi. Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling for the heads-up.

A drunk San Francisco salmon cyclist was responsible for one of the 13 crashes involving GM’s driverless cars when he crashed into the car’s bumper after its human operator had stopped the vehicle.

 

National

A Spokane WA woman is considering a civil suit after a bike rider plowed into her on a multi-use trial; the rider yelled “hot pizza” as a warning, somehow thinking that would make her get out of his way. Pedestrians are unpredictable. So slow the f*** down around them and pass carefully. It’s not that hard.

Dozens of wounded vets joined 71-year old former president George W. Bush on his annual Warrior 100K mountain bike ride.

A driver in Austin TX says he only drove drunk, ran down a cyclist and fled the scene because there was a two-hour wait for a cab.

A Montana man is working to send bikes to Central America to be converted to pedal-powered machines.

An Indiana man rode 2,800 miles from Portland, Oregon to his home state, despite suffering from epilepsy and cerebral palsy.

Facing 35 years in prison for the drunken hit-and-run death of a bicyclist, a Kentucky driver tries to withdraw his guilty plea, saying it wasn’t fair because the crash wasn’t intentional. And the drinking — and getting behind the wheel afterwards — was probably an accident, too.

Over one thousand bicyclists turned out to ride with actor Patrick Dempsey at his annual fundraiser ride in Maine.

A New York man died a week after he was attacked with a hammer by five teenagers who were trying to steal his bike. We’ve said it many times before — no bicycle is worth your life, so just let it go.

A New York woman has died a month after she was struck by a drunk, unlicensed driver who plowed into several bicyclists who were on a fundraising ride. As I recall, there were allegation that this crash may have been intentional, as well.

A homeless man in Florida has been ruled mentally incompetent to stand trial in the stabbing death of a man who was riding his bike from Connecticut to Miami to propose to his girlfriend.

 

International

A Toronto columnist asks if there’s a war on cars in the city, why are drivers the only ones racking up a body count? It’s a question we should be asking here, and every city where drivers claim ownership of the streets. Which is pretty much everywhere. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

No bias here. Britain’s Daily Mail offers a breathless headline saying two pedestrians are killed or maimed by bicyclists every week. Then in smaller type mentions that there’s no information on who was at fault, and that it still amounts to less than 1% of pedestrian injuries each year on British roads.

Caught on video: A road raging London driver loses it because a bike rider had the audacity to be in front of him.

A London priest is urging his parishioners to pray to stop a bikeway from being installed in front of the church, claiming it would do more harm that the German Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain.

Caught on video too: A British man learns why you don’t ride under crossing gates.

A man in the UK rode his bike 450 miles through France and Great Britain to deliver a petition to the prime minister’s office to cancel Brexit.

A new Scottish study shows riding a bike on bad roads for as little as 16 minutes is enough to cause nerve damage in the hands and arms. Which means that most LA bike riders could have trouble just picking up a pencil.

An Australian state supreme court justice is one of us, too.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a boat. Any band can travel by bike between gigs, but how many perform along the way?

And if you’re going to suffer a heart attack while riding, do it in front of a restaurant full of medical professionals.

 

Morning Links: Caltrans meeting Tues, driver chases cyclist onto bike path, and plants close LA River bike path

Bobby Peppey sends news of a couple bike-related developments from Caltrans.

First up is a short survey — available in English and Spanish — regarding the state transportation department’s shift from a strictly motor vehicle-focused agency to planning for an “integrated multi-modal transportation network (including walking, biking, transit and driving) that meets the needs of all users.”

Next, he reminds us that Caltrans will host a public meeting and webinar tomorrow afternoon to discuss the latest developments on SoCal projects and gather public input.

He notes that the last meeting was filled with government bureaucrats who showed little sympathy for bicyclists and other vulnerable road users; in fact, he says he was the only person in the room who wasn’t paid to be there.

As he puts it,

I brought up the intransigence of Los Angeles City Councilmember’s towards building a safe, comfortable system of bicycle infrastructure in our City at the last meeting and hope to not be the only one doing so at the October 25 the meeting.

Let’s hope he’s not.

………

Speaking of Caltrans, Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious forwards news that bikes will be barred from Camp Pendleton for the coming week, although riders will still be allowed on the 5 Freeway.

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-1-42-12-am

………

A rider connecting with the Rio Hondo trail in Rosemead was literally chased onto the trail by a road raging pickup driver, who was only stopped by the bollards at the entrance to the path.

All, apparently, because the cyclist had the audacity to make a left turn into the crosswalk leading to the path by legally using the left turn lane, which did not delay the driver behind him by a fraction of a second.

The rider, identified only as Askeee, notes that he aggravated the situation by flipping off the driver after he honked at him, asking “since when is that an acceptable reason for vehicular assault?”

To which the answer would be, at least since police blamed me for the road raging driver who plowed into my rear wheel after I flipped her off when she angrily honked at me like that.

(Lesson #1: Never flip off the driver behind you.)

Even though that would never be considered an excuse for any other form of assault with a deadly weapon. No one would think it’s okay if someone pulled out a gun and shot the other person after being given the bird, yet the simple fact of being behind the wheel seems to make it okay.

Let’s hope he filed a police report. And that the police take it seriously this time.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

………

At least now we know why the LA River bike path will be closed until the Ides of March; the Army Corps of Engineers will be using it as a staging area to remove non-native vegetation from the river channel.

Which does not explain why no notice was given, or why no one seems to give a damn about the needs of bike riders who use it.

At least the Corps promises LADOT has installed a detour path and signage. Which, based on what they offered last year, will likely be just as confusing, circuitous and impractical as ever.

CiclaValley urges everyone to turnout for a public workshop with the Army Corps on November 7th to express your outrage and demand a better solution, as well as emailing them and Congressman Adam Schiff; the LACBC offers some key talking points.

………

Damian Kevitt, hit-and-run survivor and founder of both Finish the Ride and SAFE — Streets Are For Everyone — sends word that SAFE Support is up for one of this year’s LA2050 Challenge Grants.

You can cast your vote to support the project here.

………

Local

Jesse Creed’s upstart campaign to oust anti-bike lane incumbent city councilmember Paul Koretz in LA’s 5th District has gained the support of some big names in Hollywood.

A Metro committee approves funding for expansion of the DTLA Metro Bike bikeshare into Pasadena, Venice and the port cities of San Pedro and Wilmington. Although the Venice and port city expansions are most likely an attempt to stave off expansion of the Santa Monica and Long Beach bikeshare systems into those areas.

Richard Risemberg writes about the impending departure of Michelle Mowery from LADOT to work on the LA River bike path. Maybe she could start by convincing the Army Corps of Engineers to keep it open a little more often.

The Pasadena city council will receive a report on the city’s bike safety efforts up to this point, along with plans for the future at tonight’s meeting. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Megan Lynch also forwards news that a cyclist was air rescued after crashing on Glendora Mountain Road; no word on the condition of the rider.

A new master plan including roughly 100 miles of multi-use trails in the Castaic area will go before the LA County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday; the plan also includes three proposed bike skills park amenities. Whatever the hell that means.

Cycling in the South Bay posts the honorees from last weekend’s Fourth Annual South Bay Cycling Awards, and offers a truly devastating first-hand report from the survivor of a life-changing cycling collision.

The California Supreme Court has ruled that killing a Long Beach bike rider with a screwdriver is still murder, even if you kill the wrong person by mistake.

 

State

Kids, don’t try this at home. An off-duty federal agent tried to stop thieves from taking his bicycle by jumping into the back of their pickup, and went on an unwanted seven mile ride through San Diego; both suspects were captured as  they fled after crashing the truck.

A Redlands couple is nearing the end of a 10,000 mile tandem journey around the US.

Over 1,000 cyclists participate in Sunday’s Santa Barbara 100 cycling event to raise Cottage Children’s Medical Center Family Assistance Fund.

San Luis Obispo adopts a Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic fatalities within 14 years.

Modesto police pitch in to buy a new bike for a junior high student after they were impressed by his detailed crime report.

San Francisco’s Bay Bridge Bike Trail finally opened Sunday, allowing bicyclists to ride from Emeryville to Yerba Buena Island. And back.

 

National

A pair of Minnesota cities are declaring their DIY bikeshare systems a success; the systems make refurbished bicycles available to anyone for free, no ID necessary; surprisingly, 85% of the bikes were returned last year.

New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss is one of us.

Gotham entrepreneurs are doing their best to cash in on the popularity of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare.

The driver of a stolen car was arrested after deliberately trying to run down a Philadelphia bike cop; fortunately, the officer was uninjured, though his bike appears to have seen better days.

Bighearted Alabama cops dig into their own wallets to buy a bike for a teenager after his was stolen.

Now that’s more like it. A Florida driver got ten years for a drunken hit-and-run that killed a bike rider.

 

International

A Vancouver bike shop worker was sentenced to 18 years for shooting his boss two years ago following a dispute over a rental agreement.

Bicyclists are under attack by anti-bike terrorists around the world, as someone has tossed tacks on the roadway leading to London’s Regent Park twice in the last week; the site is the planned route for one of the city’s cycle superhighways.

A British woman missed her own mother’s funeral after a truck driver forced her bike off the road and into a ditch, leaving her too injured to attend.

A member of Britain’s Parliament says not enough is being done to protect bicyclists from injury and intimidation. No shit.

A former Catholic church in Belgium is now a shrine to the Cannibal.

How about taking your next bike vacation in Tanzania?

An Aussie cyclist has been fined the equivalent of $115 for passing a stopped car on the left — which would be our right; it violated the law because the car was signaling for a left turn.

New Zealand opens a beautiful new sculptural underpass for cyclists in Christchurch.

Sad news for manga lovers, as popular manga artist Hiroyuki Shoji was found dead next to his bicycle in Japan last week.

 

Finally…

Your next bike may not need you to keep it stable. From wrestling champ to BMX podium, before the age of eight.

And the best seat for a bike race is directly above the course. Especially when you’re a black bear.

 

Morning Links: LA chosen Vision Zero Focus City, another Glendale cyclist threatened, and a special bike offer

Los Angeles has been selected as one of ten Focus Cities to lead the effort to eliminate traffic fatalities.

According to the Vision Zero Network,

Cities across the nation face similar challenges in ensuring safe mobility for all. The new Vision Zero Focus Cities program creates a collaborative network of early-adopter Vision Zero cities to build a common vision, and to develop and share winning strategies toward eliminating traffic fatalities and severe injuries.

Recognizing the importance of a stepped-up, multi-departmental, collaborative approach to advance Vision Zero, participants in the Focus Cities program will include representatives of each city’s Mayor’s Office, Transportation Department, Police Department, and Public Health Department. In addition, a concurrent track for collaboration will bring together Vision Zero community advocates from each of the Focus Cities.

Let’s hope this means a real commitment to Vision Zero here in Los Angeles, rather than allowing councilmembers to put riders at risk by arbitrarily carving streets out of the Mobility plan.

If Vision Zero is to work, it has to be the policy for all of LA, in every neighborhood and on every street.

Period.

………

Just days after video surfaced showing cyclists assaulted by a driver on a Glendale street, a Glendale teenager was cited for apparently threatening a bicyclist with a 10-inch knife from a passing van, after his mother had followed the rider honking her horn at him.

Why that didn’t merit the arrest of both the boy and his mother is beyond me.

Glendale police clearly need to do something to tame their streets before someone gets hurt. Or worse.

Meanwhile, LAist says the video shows that neither of the two Glendale cyclists who were assaulted by that brake-checking driver were remotely close to hitting the car. And they urge everyone to drive safely.

………

Maybe you’ve noticed.

The past few months, my curiosity has been piqued by a new bicycle from Fortified Bicycle, which promises to be virtually theft proof and indestructible, and built to survive the rough roads of an urban environment.

I’ve even linked to their Kickstarter a few times, both here and on my Twitter account.

Evidently, they noticed, because they contacted me yesterday with a special offer for the readers of BikinginLA.

I’ll let them explain.

Fortified 1THE ULTIMATE URBAN BIKE

Invincible is a sleek, bulletproof urban bike that is literally guaranteed against theft. Plus, Fortified Bicycle (the creators behind this project) have offered a special deal.

What makes Invincible a truly compelling urban bike? For one, every single component was selected for standing up to a rough urban environment. Parts that are commonly vulnerable to theft—lights, wheels, seat, handlebars—are secured with bolts that feature a proprietary drive geometry that opportunistic bike thieves will not be able to operate. But the biggest innovation here is their new cycle registration and theft protection service, Fortified Protect. Not only will Fortified send you a new bike if yours is stolen, they’ll also try and hunt down your stolen bike on third party seller marketplaces like eBay and Craigslist. That’s just cray.

The folks from Fortified are cutting Everyday Messenger backers a special deal. If you pre-order Invincible on their current Kickstarter project, they’ll add a free Invincible Rear Bike Rack ($45 value) to your rewards.

How to redeem this offer:

  1. Back Invincible on Kickstarter. Choose a reward level of at least $399 or more.
  2. Send a direct message on Kickstarter to Fortified Bicycle (the Invincible creators). Include the code “BIKINGINLALOVE” in that message. They’ll take care of things from there.

Fortified 2

Sounds like a good offer to me. But hurry if you’re interested, because there’s just six days to go before their Kickstarter ends.

And no, just to be clear, I don’t have any relationship with the makers of this bike, financial or otherwise.

………

Women, here’s your chance to try out for a pro cycling team. Without ever having to get on a bike.

……..

Local

The LA Times says the plan to relieve traffic congestion in Griffith Park is a good idea, but doesn’t go far enough; the paper calls for improved transit and protected bike lanes leading to the park.

KCET talks with Flying Pigeon owner, Bike Oven founder and all-around good guy Josef Bray-Ali.

Dallas Mavericks teammates JaVale McGee and J.A. Barea are one, make that two of us, as they take a tandem ride along the beachfront bike path near the Santa Monica pier.

LA’s own Phil Gaimon says barring small Pro Continental cycling teams from WorldTour races might reduce injuries, but it would unfairly limit opportunities for riders.

 

State

Police have a person of interest in custody, but not yet charged, in the murder of bike rider Sidney Siemensma on an Irvine bike path earlier this month; they say this was not a random attack.

Newport Beach says not so fast about that legal settlement we mentioned yesterday requiring them to work towards fixing a deadly intersection on PCH.

A senior planner for Alta Planning + Design describes their efforts in orchestrating a pedestrian and bicycle safety campaign. Clearly, they still have some work to do.

Local bike shop owners and their supporters will ride to protest San Diego’s DecoBike bikeshare program, arguing that it’s hurting their bottom line.

Apparently, bicyclists are being banned from a Santa Rosa pathway because of a typo; Portland bike riders have a similar problem, but for a different reason.

St. Helena proposes removing on-street parking in favor of a bike lane, while the owner of a local retirement community says that’s a bad idea, preferring parked cars to moving bikes.

Platinum-level bike friendly city Davis is aiming to be the first American city to reach Diamond status. After that, the next level would be Unobtainium.

Evidently, if you want to steal a bike, feel free to do it in front of UC Davis students, but don’t try to make your getaway in front of the sheriff.

 

National

Fifty percent of teens admit crossing a street while distracted. And the other half probably lied about it.

A Portland workshop is helping women overcome their fear of bicycling by teaching them how to fall. Which follows this sage advice from a few decades back.

A 77-year old Dallas truck driver is charged with driving under the influence after hitting a nine-year old child riding his bike around a mobile home park; fortunately, the boy is now in stable condition.

A bike riding Missouri bank robber gets nearly five years after stealing $14,000 to support his heroin addiction. He was caught trying to walk away after ditching the bike; if he’d kept riding, he might still be a free man, albeit with a monkey on his back.

A bill in the Tennessee legislature to encourage teaching students the right way to wear a bike helmet somehow became a bill to ban school districts from collecting teachers dues; thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

A fascinating set of graphs paint a picture of usage for New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare system. Including the deeper the snow depth, the less bikes are rented.

Speaking of which, a New York bike messenger discusses what he learned riding during the recent blizzard.

Once again authorities choose safety for motorists over safety for cyclists on a popular riding route by installing rumble strips, this time in Florida.

 

International

A Montreal memorial uses white shoes as the equivalent of a ghost bike for a fallen pedestrian.

Mother Jones says the jury is still out on that British study saying wearing a bike helmet makes you take more chances.

Scot authorities vow to get tough on illegal dumping, aka fly tipping, after a dog is maimed by a rusting bike left along a busy pathway. The more I do this, the more I learn English, as in the in the county, as opposed to what passes for it here.

Self-governing British dependency Isle of Man proposes legislation protecting cyclists, including a safe passing law and some form of presumed liability.

A Scottish newspaper looks at the man they credit with inventing the bicycle. Actually, it’s a little more complicated than that.

Spanish cyclist Alberto Gallego gets suspended for steroid use, just three days after joining his new team.

A Kiwi mountain biker plans to compete in a seven day, 310 mile race, a year after a reaction to a bee sting left him legally blind.

 

Finally…

Yes, the correct place to put a sign promoting a meeting to discuss cycle tracks is directly in the bike lane. Probably not the best idea to get loaded and throw a kid’s bike through the rear window of a cop car. Although yelling “boom” is a nice touch.

And most of us would have a hard enough time keeping our bike upright while working a Rubic’s cube, let alone solving 111 of them in two hours.

 

Morning Links: Palmdale man killed defending his bike; LA cyclist rides to hospital after being stabbed by driver

This is why you don’t try to save your bike from robbers.

The Daily News reports that a bike rider, who has not been publicly identified, was shot and killed outside a Palmdale restaurant Tuesday night. KNBC-4 identifies the location as in front of Sky Burgers.

The 41-year old victim reportedly tried to stop four men from stealing his bike outside the restaurant on the 1800 block of E. Palmdale Blvd around 9:40 pm. He was assaulted by all four, described by witnesses as gang bangers, before one pulled out a gun and shot him multiple times.

Seriously, if you see someone trying to steal your bike, don’t attempt to stop them. Let them take it, and call the police; it’s their job to deal with it.

No matter how much your bike cost, your life is worth more.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones. Let’s hope the police catch these assholes.

……..

Seriously, WTF is wrong with some people?

LAist reports that a man was stabbed in the neck after he asked an SUV driver to turn off his lights — evidently because it was disturbing his meal in the parking lot of a Mid-City Carl’s Jr.

The driver is seen on security video getting out of his vehicle and approaching the man, who tried to back off before attempting to defend himself. The driver then pulled out a knife and stabbed him, after which he calmly got back in his car and drove off with a woman passenger, who evidently did nothing to stop the assault despite briefly getting out of the car.

The victim got on his bike and rode to a nearby hospital for treatment; the website says he was okay, despite his wounds.

Police are looking for a suspect. Then again, if the driver had just used his car instead of a knife, he probably could have driven home without a ticket.

If anyone ever tries to tell you bike riders aren’t tough, show them this.

……..

Once again, Long Beach is giving you a brief window to experience your own mini-ciclovia, as the city opens up the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach race course to cyclists, skaters, runners and walkers from 11:30 am to 1 pm next Tuesday.

It would have been nice if they’d mentioned the date on their website, though.

……..

Proposed legislation would require any car sold or leased in California to have a temporary license plate before it’s driven off the lot — just like many, if not most other states require — which would allow it to be identified in the case of hit and run or other crimes.

You can sign a petition to support the bill here; as it says, there is no reasonable reason for opposition.

Thanks to Ann Frederick for the heads-up.

………

Local

Good news for sidewalk riders, or anyone who walks anywhere, as LA agrees to spend $1.3 billion over the next 30 years to fix the city’s broken sidewalks.

KPCC’s Larry Mantle talks with lame duck councilmember Tom LaBonge and Rec & Parks Superintendent Joe Salaices about the test project to allow cars on Griffith Park’s Mt. Hollywood Drive. Mantle also talks LA traffic with the Source’s Steve Hyman and new LACBC ED Tamika Butler.

UCLA Transportation says bike lanes are needed on Westwood Blvd to encourage students and faculty to bike to campus; the school’s many bicycling improvements that have helped make it a Bike Friendly University aren’t worth much if people can’t get there safely.

DTLA’s Chinatown installs an unusual, but apparently effective, bike corral.

Torrance cyclists will get new bike lanes on Palos Verdes Blvd following the street’s $2.1 million makeover.

CICLE is hosting an adult learn to bike class on April 12th.

 

State

The allegedly stoned wrong-way driver who plowed down a group of cyclists on San Diego’s Fiesta Island will face a competency hearing on Wednesday.

Santa Maria police are bringing back their old bikes to support a new crop of bike cops.

A Visalia motorized bike rider is in critical condition after being hit from behind by an SUV.

Riding the other route to SoCal from the Bay Area.

A San Francisco website maps out where cyclists are most likely to be hit by a distracted driver.

Marin County supervisors tell bike path riders to slow down, you move too fast; whether they sang it in two-part harmony is unclear.

 

National

Memphis decides to rip out a two-way separated bike path that took over one side of a four lane street, but promises some sort of complete street will return following a future repaving.

WaPo shows the ineffectiveness of most bike networks by mapping out what they look like without streets for a handful of major cities; I shudder to think what LA’s would look like.

 

International

VeloNews discusses the bike path to parity in women’s cycling.

A Brit jerk posts video of a car passenger pushing a cyclist off his bike that the jerks at Facebook declined to take it down, at least initially.

London in funneling money into bicycling infrastructure, while other UK cities lag behind for a lack of funding.

Three Ghana girls create a successful bamboo bike business.

Unbelievable. An Aussie driver is fined a whopping $1,000 for running down a cyclist from behind — even though the victim was tricked out with a hi-viz vest, plus two flags and several lights.

Calling the case an absurdity, a Kiwi judge refuses to disqualify a French tourist from driving for recklessly running down a pedestrian while riding his bike on the sidewalk.

 

Finally…

Even Bay Area fifth graders know most cyclists stop for stop signs, though many motorists might argue otherwise. Bike Radar lists products they wish were April Fool’s pranks.

And Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers a pointed April Fools discussion of the bike projects LADOT will ignore this year.

……..

No, really, the late post isn’t my fault this time. I had it ready to upload, but lost my internet connection when the electrician turned off the power to fix a balky outlet. Honest.

 

OC Sheriff threatens to victimize an Orange County cyclist a second time; road raging driver allowed to walk

Prepare to get mad.

Or maybe livid is a better word.

Just a day after a widely circulated open letter called on the Orange County Sheriff’s Department to charge a truck driver who used his vehicle as a weapon to threaten a cyclist, the department recommended that charges be filed.

Against the victim.

According to the LA Times, Bryan Larsen was riding his bike on Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point on May 31st when he captured video of a truck driver attempting to run him off the road before the passenger — who turned out to be the driver’s wife — hits him with a thrown Gatorade bottle; they then try to smoke him out as they took off.

Maybe she thought he looked thirsty.

Larsen was originally told that no charges could be filed because sheriff’s deputies did not actually witness the assault themselves.

Which is not true, of course.

Police are required to witness an event in order to file a traffic violation or misdemeanor charge; however, there’s no such requirement for felony charges. And using a large truck to intimidate a vulnerable road user should certainly qualify.

I’ve also been told by members of other departments that video footage can be used as evidence, as well as eye witness testimony. At the time, Larsen was riding with another cyclist who could verify everything seen on the video.

After the video went viral and was picked up by local news stations, the sheriff’s department reconsidered and conducted an investigation. Though based on the results, not much of one.

Even though the driver reportedly used his massive truck as a weapon to threaten the rider and attempt to force him off the road, they declined to charge him with anything. At all.

Instead, the Orange County Register reports they recommended that the OC District Attorney file an assault and battery charge against the driver’s wife.

And that charges be filed against the victim for apparently inciting the attack through his use of obscene language directed at the couple.

Charges are also being recommended against the bicyclist, he said, who is suspected of using “offensive words in public, likely to provoke a violent reaction.” Officials suspect the cyclist made “rude, disparaging comments” before the incident was recorded on his cellphone, (Lt. Jeff) Hallock said.

This, despite the fact the US Supreme Court has repeatedly held that offensive language and gestures are protected as free speech under the 1st Amendment. And even though Hallock makes it clear investigators are only assuming that Larson said something so offensive as to justify a violent attack with a deadly weapon.

As if anything could.

Would they still feel the driver was justified if he had pulled out a gun and started shooting at the cyclist? Legally, there’s no difference; only the choice of weapon used.

And never mind what actually precipitated the event. Unless Larsen suffers from a rare form of Tourette’s Syndrome or mental illness that forced him to swear without any provocation, he was clearly responding to something the driver had done before the camera started recording.

What, we may never know, since the threat of criminal charges will now force him to remain silent. Which is probably the real intent.

Legally, there’s no valid case against him. So the question becomes, why is the OCSD trying so hard to intimidate the victim of a violent crime — while letting the primary perpetrator off scott-free?

And what does it say to every other bike rider south of the Orange Curtain when even video evidence isn’t good enough to get the authorities to give a damn about our safety — let alone threaten us for reporting it?

Sheriff Sandra Hutchens and her department are sending a clear message to everyone who travels by two wheels that we remain second-class citizens in her jurisdiction.

And if something bad happens on her watch, just keep your mouth shut about it.

Or else.

No justice for a victim of road rage; hit-and-run victims urged join Damien Kevitt at Critical Mass next week

Evidently, tire tracks aren't sufficient proof of getting run over.

Evidently, tire tracks aren’t sufficient proof of getting run over.

Just a couple quick notes this morning.

First up, a painful reminder that justice for cyclists remains elusive, even here in relatively enlightened and bronze-level bike friendly Los Angeles.

You may recall last September we told the story of a bike rider who was harassed by a driver while riding home from work in Chatsworth.

He reported being passed in a dangerous manner, then repeatedly honked and yelled at after passing the car while it was stopped in traffic. When the rider paused to ask what the driver’s problem was, he was told bikes aren’t allowed in the street and threatened with a call to the police.

If only the driver had, he might have been quickly corrected and properly chastised. Instead, he got out of his car and physically threatened the cyclist. Then things got worse.

After that, he got back in his car and honked awhile longer. I was trying to explain to him my rights as a cyclist but he would not listen to me. He then drove slowly forward, making contact and slightly pushing my bike. I yelled at him, then he just nailed the gas. He knocked me to the ground and ran over my bike and right leg, then had to stop because there were two cars in front of him at the light.

As I got up, he got out of his car and told me that I am an asshole and I’m the reason people hate cyclists. I took the pic of him and his car about that time.

Fortunately, he wasn’t seriously injured, although it left him with leg pain that lingers today.

Unfortunately, it also left him with emotional scars caused by yet another failure of the justice system to take an assault with a deadly weapon seriously, when that weapon is a car and the victim is on a bike — despite having two witnesses to the attack.

I got this email from him last night.

I was just told today that the LAPD decided not to charge the driver who ran me over with any crime.  This news came as a extreme shock, to think that a driver can honk and yell at a cyclist then intentionally run him over, get out of his car, call that cyclist names then speed off, and not be charged with any crime.  It just makes me feel like I’m going to die riding a bike in LA and no one will care.  I trusted our system.  It has failed me and it has failed every cyclist in Los Angeles.  I don’t know if you care to update the story or ask anyone why he wasn’t charged; I’m told lack of evidence. But I had 2 witnesses, I had a smashed front wheel of my bike and badly bruised leg ankle and foot as well as tire tracks across my leg.  I was barely able to walk for 3 weeks and still to this day I have pain in my ankle and right foot. I’m just in so much shock right now.

Shocked is a good word for it.

Appalled, disgusted and mad as hell would be appropriate responses, as well.

He was clearly injured, he had physical proof of a collision and witnesses who could attest that the driver got out of his car and threatened him.

Yet somehow, that isn’t sufficient to file charges — even though I’ve been told by police that simply getting out of a motor vehicle is sufficient for a charge of assault in a situation like this

I can’t explain it. Except as a reminder of the bad old days when bike riders knew we couldn’t count on the LAPD for protection on the streets, let alone justice.

I thought we’d left those days behind as the cycling community established a better relationship with the police. But maybe I was wrong.

Meanwhile, I’ve strongly urged the victim to contact a lawyer to discuss filing a civil suit under LA’s still-untested bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance.

He would seem to have an ideal case.

And the best part is, he wouldn’t have to count on the police to lift a finger.

………

By now, you probably know the name Damian Kevitt.

He’s the man who riding his bike with his wife near Griffith Park exactly a year ago this week when a van driver stuck in traffic made an illegal U-turn, hitting his bike in the process.

If the driver had simply stopped, Kevitt might have suffered minor injuries. Instead, he floored it, dragging the trapped cyclist 600 feet onto the 5 Freeway before he was finally dislodged in front of high-speed traffic as the van sped away.

Fortunately, he landed near a doctor and an off-duty paramedic who were able to tend to him until paramedics arrived; otherwise, the outcome of this crime might have been much different.

As it was, Kevitt was among the most critically injured riders I’ve ever heard of who somehow survived their collisions.

And not only survived, but thrived.

A year later, Kevitt is back on his bike, an artificial leg replacing the one lost in the collision. And he’s inviting every cyclist to join with him on April 27th to Finish the Ride.

The easy, 12-mile ride will benefit the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and the Challenged Athletes Foundation. But more importantly, will allow us to honor the courage of an amazing man, while calling attention to the epidemic of hit-and-runs.

In addition, Kevitt is planning to hold a vigil in front of City Hall during the Critical Mass ride next Friday, February 28th. As part of that, he’s inviting anyone who has been the victim of a hit-and-run, as well as the families of those who have been lost to hit-and-run, to join him in calling for a stop to the crime, and justice for those who have been victimized by it.

If you’d like to join him — and I would strongly encourage it if you can — email him at [email protected], or leave a message at 206/495-3116.

As for justice, the heartless bastard who nearly took Kevitt’s life is still out there somewhere.

Despite a $25,000 reward.

 

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