Tag Archive for bicycling collision

Morning Links: Open season on bike riders, false equivalency in the other LA, and Hollywood bike rider injured

It’s open season on bicyclists.

A French hunter shot and killed a Welsh mountain biker who was riding in the French Alps, claiming he thought the man was a wild boar — despite his brightly colored helmet.

And despite his colorful bicycle, which wild boars are seldom known to ride.

Thanks Adam Ginsberg and Stefan for the heads-up.

Today’s photo is another reminder of why you never just lock your bike’s wheel to the rack; the thieves not only took the bike, they stripped the tire off the wheel.

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Seriously, I hate crap like this.

A Louisiana newspaper insists that motorists and bicyclists need cooler heads, drawing a false equivalency after a parish near Baton Rouge passed a series of victim-blaming anti-bike laws.

The laws came in response to a crash that killed a man riding a bike and injured his riding partner. Which local drivers used as an excuse to crackdown on those annoying bike riders, even though the driver was clearly at fault.

The difference is, the motorists are fighting for their own convenience, while the people on the bikes just want to be able to ride without getting killed.

Which is basically the same argument you’ll hear in any public meeting to discuss bikes, anywhere.

Meanwhile, Carlton Reid explains that those annoying people on bikes take the lane because it’s safer, smarter, legal and yes, saves lives.

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A man appears to have been seriously injured when he was hit by a car while riding his bike in East Hollywood.

While no information has been released on the identity of the victim or his condition, later comments in the Twitter thread suggest he may have been a homeless man.

The fact that the entire street was closed for several hours suggests that the police conducted a full investigation, which usually only happens if the victim is killed or suffers life-threatening injuries.

So I hope you’ll join me in offering a prayer for the victim, good thoughts, or whatever you’re comfortable with.

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Pasadena public radio station KPCC picks up the story of LA’s recent designation as America’s worst bike city, as producer and bike commuter Leo Duran says it’s well-deserved.

And only in part because of all the cars parked in the new Spring Street bike lane.

The interview starts at 26:05. Thanks to LA ebike maker CERO Electric Cargo Bikes for the link. 

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Horrifying video, as a driver appears to intentionally run down a bicyclist; if you look closely, you can see him holding up his cellphone as if he’s recording the crash.

https://twitter.com/CyclingTodayEn/status/1050647261791674374

No word on where the crash occurred or whether the rider was injured, if the driver was charged, or anything else. And no guarantee this wasn’t staged.

Unfortunately, I lost who sent this to me, so I’ll just have to say thank you to whoever did.

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Local

Life is cheap in Los Angeles, where a hit-and-run driver got a whopping one year behind bars and a lousy $7,500 restitution for killing a five year old boy. And was released on time served.

LAist gives you all the information Angelenos need to Bike the Vote by mail.

Downtown News looks at the completion of the new Spring Street bike lane in DTLA, which will soon be joined by a similar project going the other way on Main Street.

A Calgary writer calls for tourists to spend a weekend relaxing in WeHo, including a celebrity bike tour with Bikes and Hikes LA. Or you could take a weekend bike getaway in Santa Monica.

A Burbank letter writer gives a big thumbs up to the city’s bike lanes.

Ofo continues its slow speed retraction in the US, as it’s accused of premature withdrawal from the Claremont Colleges.

Bird is pioneering a loophole around restrictions on the number of scooters it’s allowed in Santa Monica by introducing direct delivery and daily rentals, saying those shouldn’t count against its limit.

 

State

A 64-year old bike rider is suing a San Diego cop for allegedly using excessive force during a simple traffic stop for running a stop sign; the officer involved insists the other man was aggressive, bellicose and non-compliant, and was taken to a hospital for a psych evaluation after being taken into custody.

Bike advocates say San Francisco is hindering mobility and making streets less safe, hindering mobility and street safety.

A Sonoma paper suggests taking your bike on your next cruise. Or your first cruise, for that matter.

 

National

City planner, urban designer and author Jeff Speck calls for making cities more bike and pedestrian friendly for the good of all humanity.

In a video for Slate, a bike rider says yes, he wears headphones when he rides, and what of it?

Bicycling explains the differences between various types of bicycles.

An Oregon man gets a well-deserved 11 years behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run death of a bike rider; he was behind the wheel despite a blood alcohol level over three times the legal limit when he was arrested a short time later. He claimed he thought he hit an animal, though he never pulled over to check. And being that drunk, he probably wasn’t capable of conscious thought, anyway.

Former pro Scott Mercier says bikes change lives, citing the story of a 12-year old Mexican immigrant in Colorado whose life changed for the better when she was given a chance to earn a bicycle.

A Detroit writer defends the expanding network of bike lanes in the city, debunking arguments against them while saying the debate boils down to whether the streets are for moving cars from out-of-town commuters or creating livable spaces for the people who live there. Los Angeles clearly went with the former when it unceremoniously yanked out the road diets in Playa del Rey after commuters, many from Manhattan Beach, went ballistic.

A racist New York cop says yes, the city’s police are biased against people on bikes and go out of their way to protect deadly drivers.

Bicyclists in a Georgia town are getting clipped by drivers on a sate roadway. So naturally, their solution is to ban the people on bikes from the roadway.

 

International

The bike visibility arms race goes on with the introduction of a new set of front and rear bicycle turn signals. And virtually guaranteed to confuse any motorist.

Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter makes the argument that we should lose the words pedestrian and cyclist.

Hundreds of London bike riders stage a die-in in front of Parliament to demand funding for a protected bike lane network.

Caught on video: An angry British driver can’t manage to wait a few seconds for a bicyclist to pass another rider, even though he was traveling at 25 mph.

Life is cheap in Scotland, where a driver who killed a bicyclist while trying to pass another rider headed in the opposite direction walked without a single day behind bars. At least he’s banned from driving for ten years, though that doesn’t seem to stop some people.

A Scottish man has amassed a collection of over 400 derailleurs from all over the world, noting a bizarre relationship between the bicycle transmission system and repressive dictators.

A London student takes a humorous look at the people behind the handlebars in Florence, Italy.

The report island of Majorca, Spain has created a rating system to guide bike riders in choosing comfortable riding routes.

A South African veterinarian has shifted his focus to building bespoke bikes, reportedly crafting some of the best road and mountain bikes in the country.

A self-described “average bloke” in Australia says he’s going to help out frustrated drivers by riding to work, even if some people call for banning bikes at rush hour.

Japanese authorities have dropped all charges against a mother whose 16-month old son died when her umbrella got caught in the spokes of the ebike they were both riding. Authorities used the case to encourage parents with small children to ride safely.

A Singapore businessman rode over 4,000 mile across 10 countries on a solar power ebike made by his own Chinese factory.

Over 5,400 bicyclists turned out for a mass Hong Kong bike ride, while saying the city isn’t doing enough to improve traffic safety.

 

Competitive Cycling

An English triathlete bounces back from a near-fatal collision just days before last year’s Ironman to compete in this year’s race, despite spending three months in a halo brace to recover from a broken neck.

A Rwandan newspaper profiles the 21-year old rising star of the national cycling team.

 

Finally…

It takes a village to chase down bike thieves. If you can’t find a safe place to run or ride, just build a new island.

And once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a man rescues a woman who fell into a river trying to rescue her dog.

Naturally, the dog got out on his own.

Morning Links: LA wins best bike cities race to bottom, the beauty of bicycling, and update on SaMo bike crash

Bicycling is out with their bi-annual ranking of the best bike cities in America.

Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t win.

Our bayside neighbor to the north is second, the same position San Francisco held last time.

My hometown slid up to third, while Seattle was a surprising choice for the top pick among America’s best bike cities after ranking fifth in 2016.

Then there’s LA.

The City of Angels, which ranked 24th on the best bike cities list last time around, didn’t come in quite so high this time.

In fact, LA didn’t make the list at all.

Then again, simply not making the list would have been an improvement for a city that was rated as the worst bike city in America.

That’s right, we’re number one on Bicycling’s list of America’s best bike cities. From the bottom.

An honor, if you want to use the term, that is well-deserved as city leaders have seriously backslid in their support for bicycling in Los Angeles.

Let alone safe streets.

This is what Peter Flax had to say on the subject, after he was asked to write the story for Bicycling.

Los Angeles should be heaven for cyclists. The weather is beyond dreamy—downtown L.A. has gotten less than four inches of rain so far this year. The city is an enormous, mostly flat grid of wide boulevards with plenty of room for smartly placed bike infrastructure. The traffic is literally the worst in the world, making it all the more reasonable to cover shorter trips by bike. The metro area boasts postcard-perfect oceanfront riding and spectacular climbing in legendary spots like the Malibu hills, Palos Verdes, and the San Gabriel Mountains. Every day, I see hundreds of people pedaling around town with smile on their faces, despite the challenges the city throws at them.

That’s the good news.

It all sounds quite lovely until you start to contemplate all of the cyclists who have been killed—and ask yourself why. In the past five years alone, more than 180 riders in the metropolitan area have been killed by people driving motor vehicles. During the last three years that national crash data has been compiled (2014-2016), only three U.S. states have seen more cyclist fatalities than just L.A. County—Florida, New York, and California as a whole.

The roads themselves are a disaster. The cruelest irony is that the city is spending money on them. But instead of investing in the quality infrastructure, millions of taxpayer dollars are being spent to pay out civil lawsuits brought by severely injured cyclists or the families of killed riders. The sad truth is that in L.A., it’s more politically expedient to pay seven-figure civil damages than to fix all the crappy roads and build the infrastructure that keeps people from getting hurt or killed.

 

There’s more, sadly. A lot more.

Looking to sustain L.A.’s broken and ineffective transportation system are a cadre of well-funded organizations like Keep L.A. Moving, who are fighting any safety project that might remove a single driving lane from the urban grid. In their minds, one or two cyclist fatalities a month are acceptable collateral damage to keep a big car-centric city properly lubricated…

This angry populist rebellion resonated far beyond the borders of Playa del Rey. L.A. City Council members saw the political might wielded by angry motorists. So did Mayor Garcetti, who has aspirations for national office and wants to shy away from unpopular controversies. And since the bike lanes in Playa del Rey got ripped out, the already glacial pace of making streets safer practically came to a stop in L.A.

It’s not exactly pleasant to read.

But it’s worth your time, because Flax nails it, accurately calling out the multitude of problems we face. And the shameful lack of political support for making the changes we so desperately need.

Maybe this will serve as a wake-up call for our bad publicity-shy public leaders. Or maybe embarrass them just enough to actually do something.

At least enough to get us back onto the list. Even if we have to settle for the 50th spot, as America’s worst best bike city.

Which would be a hell of an improvement over where we are now.

Meanwhile, Long Beach did make the list, checking in at 27th, up one from their previous ranking.

Here’s the methodology Bicycling used to determine the rankings.

Thanks to Al Williams for the heads-up.

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It was a busy day for Peter Flax; if the last story left you feeling down, take a few minutes to read his take on everything that’s beautiful about bicycling.

Trust me, you’ll feel better.

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Sort of good news.

In answer to yesterday’s request for more information about a bike crash at 23rd and Navy in Santa Monica, City Manager Rick Cole responded that the victim was “severely, but not critically injured.”

Not exactly good news, but better than we had feared.

Let’s keep out fingers crossed for a full and fast recovery.

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Speaking of bad news, I somehow missed the news that an unidentified bike rider was killed in Stanton on Monday. The driver initially fled the scene, but returned a short time later.

I’ll try to catch up with the story later today.

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The Los Angeles Fire Department offers a video profile of LAFD’s bike-riding paramedics at LAX, who use their bicycles to respond to emergencies faster than they could by motor vehicle.

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Local

Curbed’s Alissa Walker says the best way Angelenos can support climate action is to stop driving so much. And support improved transportation and density.

Streetsblog says California needs more bike diversion programs, after Bike SGV’s Andrew Yip helped a poor immigrant get into one when he faced a choice between a $240 fine or jail for riding on the sidewalk.

 

State

A writer for Medium says today’s hipsters have a long way to go to match San Francisco’s mustachioed high wheeled cycling fanatics of the 1890s.

 

National

The good news is bicycling fatalities in the US declined 8.1% last year. The bad news is they’re still too damn high, with an average of over two deaths a day, every day.

Lucky us. A new study shows, on average, every 13th driver that passes you on your bike is driving distracted.

Forbes says shared mobility data offers an opportunity to reshape cities.

Cycling Industry News refutes ten bike fit myths. I can personally testify to #4; bicycling is the only thing that held my balky right knee together as long as it did. Even now that I’ll need to get it replaced in the coming weeks, I can still ride with minimal pain, which is more than I can say about walking. Or sitting.

Speaking of that best bike cities list, Portland received its worst ranking ever, coming in at number five. Which is still 19 spots higher than LA ever has.

A Grand Junction CO newspaper urges donations to a Colorado high school marching band that was stiffed by an annual bike tour. If you’ve got a few extra buck lying around, there are worse things you could do with it.

A Chicago bike rider and a pedestrian were injured when a teenage boy hopped behind the wheel of an unlocked car and speed off, crashing into several parked cars in the process.

Caught on video: A Chicago bike rider complains about private parks security racing down a multi-use path in an SUV to chase riders around tight corners — especially when the ones being chased can simply turn around to get away.

A Massachusetts city has removed their requirement for bicyclists to hug the curb, allowing bike riders full use of the lane, like other city’s in the state.

A long list of drivers are still allowed in New York’s Central Park, months after they were supposedly banished.

 

International

Cities around the world are facing the question of how to adapt to an aging population, and what an age-friendly city would look like — including safer streets, improved transit and making bicycling accessible to older people.

A new foam liner from Vittoria and Tannus promises to replace your tubes and make your tires puncture proof.

A “secret” cyclocross fondo through the British Columbia countryside is gaining in popularity, despite being unannounced and not having any maps.

Putting the “mounted” back in Mounted Police, Canada’s famed Mounties are learning that patrolling by bicycle helps officers improve community relations and stop street crime.

An annual London charity ride takes you up to 90 miles from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle to raise funds for The Prince’s Trust. The perfect royal ride for the Anglophile in your life.

File this under you’ve got to be kidding. Just riding a bicycle through a chain of outdoor malls in the UK could result in prison time, thanks to a recent court ruling.

Understanding your Emotional Quotient can improve your performance on your bike, according to a British lecturer.

CityLab says Paris could be a model for how cities can combat climate change, as the city works to reduce motor vehicle use.

Dutch phrases you need to know to ride a bike in the Netherlands.

No bias here. A Reuters story says Africa is locked in traffic as the “poor man’s transport,” aka the bicycle, is ignored. Which feeds into the narrative that people only ride bikes because they can’t afford to drive, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

Competitive Cycling

Nebraska resident and new US cycling team member Ashton Lambie has gone from riding Kansas backroads to setting a world record in the 4,000-meter individual pursuit.

French cyclist Sylvain Chavanel reveals what he learned in 19 years in the pro peloton.

 

Finally…

Who needs an SUV when you can have a Sports Utility (e)Bike? That feeling when the city steals your bike to replace the rack.

And keep an eye on Craigslist; someone stole Geraint Thomas’ Tour de France trophy.

Update: 23-year old Newport Beach e-bike rider died after colliding with parked van

A bike rider has died after he was critically injured while riding in Newport Beach Sunday afternoon.

According to the Orange County Register, 23-year old Corona del Mar resident Jonathan Wilson died about an hour after he collided with a parked minivan.

The paper reports the collision occurred around 1:27 PM at 1801 Bayside Drive, while Corona del Mar Today places the location further up the road near the intersection of Bayside and El Paseo Dr.

Matching photos from the scene with a street view suggest he was riding north on Bayside, in between the two locations.

No explanation is given for how or why he hit the van.

Photos accompanying the Register story show a mountain bike lying near the curb, with the back of the van in badly damaged. That suggests Wilson somehow hit it at a high rate of speed, which is surprising given the flat road surface.

Even though the road has sharrows, the impact point on the van is just to the left of the curb. So the question becomes why he was riding so close to the curb, and how he reached a high enough speed to cause so much damage.

And whether he didn’t see the row of parked cars directly ahead of him, or was forced to the right in some way.

Unless a witness turns up, we may never know.

This is the 40th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth in Orange County. That compares with 57 in SoCal this time last year, and 12 in the county.

Wilson also the 11th cyclist killed in Newport Beach in the past five years, and second to die in a solo crash in the city in just the last two weeks.

Update: According to the Newport Beach Police Department, Wilson was riding an electric bike, would could explain the force of impact evident from the damage to the minivan. 

He was initially found conscious and responsive, while suffering from numerous lacerations. 

And no, he was not wearing a helmet.

Update 2: Corona del Mar Today cites a police spokesperson as saying neither drugs or alcohol appeared to be a factor, and it did not appear that Wilson was forced into the van by another vehicle.

Update 3: Customers at the Corona del Mar Starbucks where Wilson worked as a barista remembered him as kind, sometimes silly and always friendly.

Update 4: Wilson may have been using his cell phone at the time of the crash, though it’s not clear if he was texting, talking or performing some other task. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jonathan Wilson and all his loved ones.

 

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