Tag Archive for bicycling

All hands on deck: Ride and vigil tonight for justice in Milt Olin case; is the DA’s office involved in a cover-up?

Let’s be honest.

When a prosecutor really wants to file charges in a traffic case, they’ll tear the vehicle code apart until they find something that sticks.

So when the DA’s office examines a case and concludes there’s nothing there, it’s more often an indication that they don’t want to prosecute, for whatever reason.

Like when it’s a cop who ran down a cyclist, for instance.

When the LA County DA’s office announced last week they weren’t filing charges against the sheriff’s deputy who killed Milt Olin, they concluded (pdf) that he had not violated the state prohibition against texting while driving because police officers in the course of their duty are exempted from the law. Never mind that he’d also been texting — illegally — with his wife as recently as one minute prior to the wreck.

And yet, I’ve repeatedly been told by officers from a number of different police agencies that it’s not just the act of texting behind the wheel that’s against the law, but simply being distracted while driving. For whatever reason.

From putting on makeup or eating, to simply changing the stations on the radio. And yes, some people still listen to the radio when they drive.

Anything that takes the driver’s attention away from the road is distracted driving. Or as cited by the LA Times, “wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”

By that standard, Deputy Wood was clearly distracted when he ran down Olin’s bike from behind.

In fact, by his own admission, he never even saw Olin or knew he was driving in the bike lane when he hit him at somewhere around 48 mph, which was his last recorded speed prior to the impact.

He could just as well have been charged with making an illegal lane change. Or driving in a bike lane.

Or even the catch-all violation when police can’t come up with anything else to charge a driver — or too often, a bike rider — with, violating CVC 22350, the state’s basic speed law.

After all, no speed is safe when you have no idea where you’re driving or what’s in the road directly in front of you.

And any or all of which could be used to support the sheriff’s investigator’s recommended charge of vehicular manslaughter.

So the question becomes one of why they’re not willing to file charges. Any charges.

It could, as many have speculated, be a case of looking out for their own; the District Attorney relies on police officers to build their cases, and may be reluctant to prosecute an officer as a result.

Or it could simply be that the death of a cyclist — even one as prominent as entertainment lawyer and former Napster executive Milt Olin — just isn’t worth their time.

Or it could be a cover-up.

By prosecuting Wood, the deputy could be forced to testify in his defense that, even though using the onboard computer while driving is officially against sheriff’s department policy, the unofficial policy encourages officers to do just the opposite.

Which would make higher-ups in the department complicit in Olin’s death. And could have led them to pressure the DA not to file.

Maybe there’s a more innocent explanation for the failure to charge the driver with something.

Anything.

But the official explanation doesn’t hold water.

And the fact that they’ve left themselves open to this kind of speculation shows just how wrong that decision was.

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If this case pisses you off as much as it does me, you’ll have your chance to demand justice for Milt Olin, and all of us, tonight.

The LACBC, Yield to Life and Ghost Bikes LA are hosting a ride and vigil for Milt Olin to call on the DA to revisit the case and press charges.

This is an all-hands-on-deck demand for justice.

If there’s any way you can be there for all or part of it, you owe it to yourself to attend. Because the more people who participate, and the more varied the riders who attend, the better our message will penetrate the insulated offices of the District Attorney.

I’m going to do my best to attend the vigil, at least. If you don’t see me there, it means my health has knocked me on my ass once again.

From the LACBC website:

When: Wednesday, September 3

Schedule:

  • 4:00 p.m. Meet at crash site (around 22532 Mulholland Hwy, Calabasas, CA 91302)
  • 4:15 p.m. Moment of silence
  • 4:30 p.m. Start ride
  • 6:30 p.m. Leave from the L.A. Zoo parking lot (5333 Zoo Dr, Griffith Park, CA 90027). Other riders can meet up here.
  • 7:30-8:00 p.m. Arrive at District Attorney’s office (210 W Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012)
  • 8:00 p.m. Candlelight vigil

The public is invited to join us at the beginning, ride with us, join us for the vigil, or meet us at any point along the way (exact route to be determined).

Route: https://goo.gl/maps/Y4xFh

The route follows major streets through the San Fernando Valley and Griffith Park to Downtown Los Angeles. Riders will be expected to stay alert and follow all traffic laws. The ride is scheduled to arrive in Downtown just after sunset, therefore lights are required by law.

The route is 30 miles. Riders should come prepared with water and snacks to stay fueled.

Shorter options:

  • Start at the L.A. Zoo parking lot (5333 Zoo Dr, Griffith Park, CA 90027) for an approximately 10-mile ride into Downtown. Please arrive no later than 6:15 and be ready to ride by 6:30 p.m.
  • Start in Calabasas, ride 17 miles to the Universal City Red Line station (located at Lankershim Blvd and Campo de Cahuenga), and take the Red Line to Civic Center, where the D.A.’s office is located (210 W Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012). Riders who lag behind the main group will be asked to take this option.
  • Join us for the vigil. People are welcome to skip the ride and meet us at the D.A.’s office. The ride is expected to arrive between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m.
  • Meet us along the way. We will do our best to live-tweet our location with the hashtag #rideformilt. Follow us @lacbc.

Getting to the ride:

  • The start is on a suburban section of Mulholland Highway with little to no on-street parking (approximate address: 22532 Mulholland Hwy, Calabasas, CA 91302). We recommend taking the Metro Orange Line or Orange Line Bike Path to De Soto or Canoga and riding from there. Free park-and-rides are available along the Orange Line.
  • Check out the Facebook event and feel free to post feeder rides there.

Getting from the ride:

  • The best option is always riding (with lights!) or taking transit.
  • If you parked at a Metro Orange Line park-and-ride, take the Red Line from Civic Center to North Hollywood. Then either transfer to the Orange Line (limit 3 bikes per bus) or ride along the Orange Line Bike Path to your car.

Questions? Post them in the Facebook event or call the office at 213-629-2142 and we’ll do our best to respond before the ride.

 

Morning Links: How to file a claim for pothole damage; La Habra rider injured crashing into street sign

An interesting question came up on Monday, when someone asked me who to contact if a pothole on a city street damages a rim on your bike, or worse.

Fortunately, KNBC-4 answered that question earlier this year, if from an auto-centric perspective. And yes, it’s the same process if you were injured, as well.

Step No. 1 is to fill out a claim form. Click here to begin the process, then mail the document to:

Office of the City Clerk
200 North Spring St.
Room 395, City Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90012

The office will accept originals only. Don’t try to fax it or mail in a copy.

You can also deliver it in person to that same address anytime between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number is 213-978-1133.

Be sure to document the damage to your bike, along with any resulting injuries, as well as possible. That means photos and receipts for repair work, parts and/or medical care, or at the very least, a signed estimate for the cost of repair if you can’t afford to have it done.

As the story implies, it can be a long and complicated process, and one that can often end in a rejection of your claim.

But by going through the process and documenting your claim, you at least set the stage for filing a case in small claims court if it’s denied.

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Sad news, as a La Habra cyclist is in a medically induced coma after suffering a major head injury when he somehow crashed into a street sign while riding on the sidewalk.

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Nice to see new bike racks in front of my favorite Mexican restaurant; evidently, they recognize bikes are good for business.

Or maybe they just like bikes.

SAMSUNG

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Local

Nice piece on life lessons learned on a bike from an undocumented perspective.

A new petition calls on CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo to allow bike lanes on North Figueroa.

Culver City Walk & Rollers hosts a family bike ride to the Ballona Wetlands on Saturday.

A look at track racing at the Encino Velodrome.

 

State

The Daily Breeze offers a detailed look at the state’s new three-foot passing law, even if they can’t quite manage to get all the facts straight. It was one governor who vetoed the law twice, not the other way around. And while the first version of the law would have allowed drivers to cross the center line to pass a cyclist, no version of the law ever required them to do so.

A memorial was held for Chula Vista randonneur Matthew O’Neill, who was killed while riding in Santa Maria by a son of former Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado.

The Voice of San Diego looks at the city’s new Bicycle Advisory Committee, while the city’s planned bike share program hits the skids once again.

San Bernardino County gets $13.7 million for transportation projects, including Safe Routes to School and bike/ped improvements at train stations.

 

National

Injured cycling scion Taylor Phinney hasn’t lost his sense of humor, referring to his surgically repaired limb as his Frankenleg.

Nashville cyclists get their first bike box.

Downtown Mobile AL gets its first bike lane.

 

International

Interesting column in the London Telegraph, as a writer says motorists have ruined England, and it’s time they paid the price.

A British family files a lawsuit against their local bike shop after their 14-year old son crashed into a van when his brakes failed just hours after his bike was repaired.

Riding the green glens of Scotland, as I hope to do some day.

A truck driver gets eight-and-a-half years for killing two cyclists who had just begun a cross-country tour of the UK when he fell asleep at the wheel. In the US, that would probably be written off as an “oops.” Thanks to Jim Pettipher for the heads-up.

Six Norwegian cyclists are hospitalized after failing to read the label on a sample bottle, and mistaking laundry detergent for a sports drink.

A new Ikea in Hamburg, Germany invites you to bike your purchase home with the free loan of a cargo bike.

An urgently needed New Zealand bikeway still hasn’t been built six years later.

 

Finally…

A drunken Indian constable steals a police car and crashes into a bicyclist, pedestrian and an auto-rickshaw before he’s arrested. A reminder not to text and drive, as a Colorado motorist slams into a guard rail, which penetrates the car’s headlight and impales her butt cheek before jamming into the back seat.

And no, you can’t inject yourself with noble gasses any more. Although in my experience, ignoble gas emissions are more of a problem for most cyclists.

 

Weekend Links: Protected bikeways bill and four hit-and-run bills await Governor Brown’s uncertain signature

Streetsblog explains AB 1193, the new protected bikeways bill currently awaiting Governor Brown’s signature.

There should be no reason why he wouldn’t sign it.

Then again, that’s what we said about the first two attempts at a three-foot passing law. And you know how that turned out.

Meanwhile, Bicycling says there’s a nationwide boom in protected bikeways, while Vancouver’s see a record number of riders this summer.

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Streetsblog also explains the four hit-and-run bills awaiting Brown’s signature.

None remove the incentive for drunk drivers to flee the scene by making the penalty for hit-and-run equivalent to drunk driving penalties. And none call for seizing the vehicle used in a hit-and-run upon conviction.

But they’re a good start.

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Credit Orange County cyclist and attorney David Huntsman for this idea.

Instead of paying $100 or more to ride the Beverly Hills Gran Fondo, donate the money to Better Bike to support the fight for better inclusion in the bike-unfriendly community — including desperately needed bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd.

Speaking of Better Bike, they look at Strava to reveal where cyclists really ride through the Biking Black Hole.

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The sheriff’s department will conduct an internal investigation into the Milt Olin case; according to the story, at least one cyclist doesn’t have much faith in their impartiality.

Red Kite Prayer’s Padraig says the DA’s decision not to prosecute makes us all second-class citizens. Cycling in the South Bay says the DA has given cops a license to kill.

And former pro Dave Zabriskie explains why his Yield2Life foundation is co-sponsoring Wednesday’s Olin protest ride and vigil.

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There are no words. The junior world time trial champion, 18-year old Igor Decraene of Belgium, took his own life on Saturday.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers five things he learned at the city council Transportation Committee meeting this week, including that protected bikeways may or may not be on the streets of LA in the coming year.

Writing for Orange 20, Richard Risemberg looks at how Westside road diets and walkable/bikeable streets encourage people to linger, shop, eat and spend more, despite what some less-informed councilmembers seem to think.

The Times reviews advanced new bike accessory designs.

Pasadena moves forward on an ambitious new bike plan.

Hermosa Cyclery celebrates its 40th anniversary as four local men carry on for the original owner.

Proposed Redondo Beach redevelopment promises a 30 to 40 foot wide pedestrian and bike path along the waterfront; hopefully, they’ll get rid of that damned “cyclists dismount” zone in front of the pier while they’re at it.

 

State

I wonder how many drivers will be deterred by the whopping $35 fine for violating California’s new three-foot passing law.

A Laguna Beach cyclist says bike riders must admit the coast highway is a death trap.

A Stockton rider wisely gives up his bike when three men approach showing a gun, and ask if he’s willing to die for it. Well, if you put it that way…

 

National

Bicycling’s Elly Blue offers advice on how to close the gender gap and get more women into bicycling.

A writer for CityLab says get over shoaling, already

It takes a real schmuck to steal a brand new adult tricycle from a legally blind woman.

A Washington state driver was drunk and texting when he drifted off the road and rear-ended a cyclist.

Tragically, a Seattle cyclist is killed in a left cross less that two weeks before the dangerous bike lane she was riding in was due to be replaced with a protected lane.

Great piece from a Colorado Springs non-cyclist, who says bike riders deserve genuine appreciation. Read this one to counter out all that bike hate out there.

Nice. A Wisconsin bike advocate donates a new bike to a 12-year old hit-and-run victim.

Twenty-three reasons why bicycling is the best way to navigate New York City.

 

International

NHL defenseman Cory Sarich gives up bicycling and may never play hockey again following a horrific left-cross crash with an 85-year old British Columbia driver.

Always report bad road condition whenever possible; a London man didn’t and another rider paid the price.

A pair of Russian girls explore Great Britain and Ireland by Brompton.

Perhaps the greatest cyclist of all time, the Cannibal, aka Eddie Merckx, is hospitalized with heart pains; he has minor heart surgery as a result.

Bicycling the streets of Cambodia’s capital is not for the faint hearted.

 

Finally…

This is how you wear a cycling cap. When you need to revive, turns out a combination of coffee and naps are more effective than either one alone; throw in walking the Corgi, and that’s the story of my life these days.

And yes, traffic rules apply to everyone, and no, stop signs are not mere suggestions. Even if many drivers seem to treat them that way.

 

Morning Links: More on misguided Olin decision; protected bikeways and hit-and-run bills pass legislature

More on the DA’s refusal to prosecute the sheriff’s deputy who killed cyclist Milt Olin, as cyclists urge the DA to change her mind.

Meanwhile, the local Calabasas paper picks up the story, while Digital Music News offers an angry response. Streetsblog’s Damien Newton rails against the decision. And the story goes international, courtesy of London’s Daily Mail; thanks to Kevin Hopps for the tip.

LA Daily News writer Brenda Gazzar writes that the Sheriff’s Department will open an internal affairs investigation into Deputy Andrew Wood now that the investigation is complete; thanks to Danny Gamboa for the link. Be sure follow her if you’re on Twitter for the latest updates and best reporting on this case.

For those who want to do more than sit and seethe, a protest ride and vigil will held next Wednesday, sponsored by the LACBC, Yield to Life and Ghost Bikes LA.

milt_olin_FLYR

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Despite difficult to understand opposition from CABO, the protected bikeways bill sponsored by the California Bicycle Coalition passed the legislature Thursday and awaits the governor’s signature. The bill will allow protected bikeways, which are currently considered experimental under California law, as long as they adhere to NACTO guidelines.

Meanwhile, two hit-and-run bills sponsored by Glendale Assembly Member Mike Gatto passed, as well; AB 47 will create a Yellow Alert system to notify the public about significant hit-and-runs, while AB 1532 would automatically suspend the license of any driver convicted of hit-and-run. Thanks to Finish the Ride for the heads-up.

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LA Weekly rides along to the Emmys with Mad Men writer/producer Tom Smuts and company.

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Alejandro Valverde captures stage six of the Vuelta. Disappointing that one of the world’s great bike classics is getting so little coverage, especially when it promises to be one of the best in years.

And even though Lizzie Armistead has already wrapped up the Women’s World Cup, there’s still a lot at stake in the final race.

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Local

Two miles of new bike path open along the LA River in the West Valley.

Flying Pigeon questions whether North Figueroa drivers really want faster speeds or better traffic flow.

Fig4All explains how one misguided councilmember can derail a much needed safety improvement project on North Figueroa. And what can be done about it.

Bicyclists in the City of Angeles will ride in solidary with the Afghan women’s cycling team “and all women who ride bikes in the face of adversity” this Saturday.

LA cyclists ride to remember three fallen Belizean riders.

Who knew? The Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills was once home to some of the region’s finest bike trails.

Santa Monica police bust a bait bike thief.

A jogger is critically injured running in the bike lane on PCH in west Malibu when he’s hit by a car, which doesn’t bode well for cyclists using the lane intended for them. Correction: It turns out that’s not a bike lane, after all. 

 

State

San Diego’s new Bicycle Advisory Committee promises to make the city better for biking

Santa Barbara gets $8.6 million for bike projects, while Goleta gets $3.654 million and Santa Ana gets a relatively paltry $3 million.

Sadly, a Roseville rider is killed by her own SUV when it rolls over her while she’s trying to remove her bike from the back.

 

National

Momentum Magazine lists the next great bicycling cities, while Bicycling is about to offer an updated list of the nation’s top 10 bike cities. Do I really need to mention that LA didn’t make either list?

A 91-year old Oregon WWII and Vietnam Vet plans to keep riding despite being hit by a car.

No distracted driving law means the penalty for hitting a Texas cyclist is no worse than getting a speeding ticket.

Despite the LSU paper’s apparent ethical dilemma, bike theft is just wrong. Period.

A 75-year old former Manhattan bike commuter reminds his fellow Virginia riders they’re not above the law.

Milt Olin isn’t the only cyclist to lose his life to a sheriff’s deputy, as a 15-year old Florida boy is run down for no apparent reason by a patrol car driven by a Lee County deputy.

 

International

Calgary defenseman Cory Sarich puts his NHL career on hold to recover from serious injuries suffered in a frightening bike collision last month.

The UK government is urged to protect funding for bikes and pedestrians.

Half of Brit drivers break the law; I suspect the percentage would be a lot higher here.

Turns out London cyclists aren’t a danger to guide dogs after all.

A Brit minibus driver gets five years for killing a cyclist while looking a photos on his cell phone.

India’s Health Minister wants a nationwide network of protected bike lanes.

Clearly, it was a loss felt worldwide, as Aussie cyclists ride to remember Robin Williams.

 

Finally…

When you’re leaving an Ohio drug house with crack on your bike, put a damn bell on it if that’s what the law requires; the bike, not the crack. Now that your GoPro bike cam can give you a dog’s eye view of the world, expect to see a lot of butt close-ups.

And evidently, a pair of Laguna Beach cyclists are selling something to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research. Unless the local paper meant pedal, instead of peddle, of course.

 

Morning Links: New ROAD magazine from Chris K, more on biking to the Emmys, SaMoHi kids bike to school

Chris Klibowitz has long been my favorite wrench, as well as a good friend.

In fact, it was Chris who put my bike back together following the Infamous Beachfront Bee Encounter, and made sure it stayed in top shape ever since.

Now the former manager and bike buyer for the Helen’s Cycles chain is the extremely knowledgeable new editor of ROAD Magazine, which released its latest issue today — free online with registration.

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The LACBC explains how they helped Mad Men writer/producer Tom Smuts and company ride to Monday’s Emmy Awards, while Streetsblog offers a first-person photo essay.

Even Bicycling picks up the story. And Red Kite Prayer’s Padraig goes along for the ride.

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Local

Build it and they will come. Santa Monica students are riding to SaMoHi even though pending bicycling improvements aren’t completed yet.

The Source profiles bike commuter Kasia Bohos as part of their Golden Pedal awards.

Bike Walk Burbank celebrates the popular Chandler Bikeway’s 10th anniversary.

LAist looks at Levi’s Commuter line of clothes for urban cyclists in a sponsored post. Yo, Levi’s, what am I, chopped liver?

Long Beach’s Bicycle Stand Race brings together the city’s cycling community.

 

State

OC cities are leaving bike funding on the table, despite a newfound commitment to bike safety.

A La Mesa cyclist suffers a serious leg injury trying to beat a San Diego trolley, offering yet another reminder to never, ever ride around railroad crossing barriers. Ever.

San Francisco-based Timbuk2 offers a combination chiller and messenger bag, perfect for carrying cold food and drinks on your bike.

A San Francisco cyclist gets his stolen bike back, thanks in part to the city’s voluntary bike registry. I tried to put together a similar free countywide bike registry for the LACBC a few years back, but gave up do to the conflicting demands of too many disparate cities and agencies.

Nice. Pleasantville teachers and staff member build 14 bikes as a team building exercise. Then give them to surprised students.

 

National

Bicycling says we may never see the likes of Jens Voigt again. I’ll second, third and fourth that.

About time, as Scott Sports introduces Lycra bikewear designed to prevent road rash. I just wish they’d had it a few decades back when I hit a puddle while leaning into a hard right at 25 mph, and ended up with road rash from ankle to chin. And was literally two thin spandex threads from being naked from the waist down.

An off-duty Albuquerque firefighter is honored for using a bike inner tube to save a cyclist’s life after a collision with a garbage truck.

What’s good for General Motors really is what’s good for the country, as the massive car manufacturer opens a bike share program on their 330-acre Detroit tech campus.

A Kentucky teen faces assault charges after hitting a cyclist in the face with a cup of ice.

The NYPD cracks down on cyclists, but does nothing about cars blocking bike lanesincluding their own. Not surprisingly, cyclists in Philly face a similar problem.

A North Carolina para-cyclist doesn’t let having one arm stop him. Though it does make it much harder to flip off aggressive drivers.

 

International

A UK rider is back home after being seriously injured while on a charity ride from Seattle to LA; he only made it as far as Shelton WA before he was hit by a pickup.

A Brit writer says bicycling through Detroit just makes too much sense, despite the fearful warnings of his friends.

A Welsh minibus driver was taking a photo with his cell phone through the bus window when he swerved and killed a cyclist.

 

Finally…

No, really, I can understand a local newspaper commenting on a cyclist’s lack of helmet following a serious solo fall. But what difference could it possibly make that he didn’t have headlight on his bike in broad daylight?

Turns out bike commuters have better sex lives; which is probably why we’re happier, too. And even Playboy wants in on the bike boom, with tips from former pro George Hincapie.

 

Morning Links: Biking to the Emmy awards, BOLO Alert for purloined Roubaix, Jens calls it a 17-year career

As promised, Mad Men writer/producer Tom Smuts rode his bike 16 miles — or maybe 17 —  from Santa Monica to Downtown’s LA Live for Monday’s Emmy Awards.

He was accompanied by his wife and Homeland producer Meredith Stiehm, as well as members of the LACBC. And yes, it was caught on video.

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BOLO Alert: Keep your eyes open for a white Specialized Roubaix, stolen from a garage in West LA Sunday night.

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As expected, Teejay van Garderen took first in the USA Pro Challenge with Tom Danielson second, followed by virtually unknown Jelly Belly rider Sergey Tsvetkov. Rookie Jamis-Hagens Berman rider Ian Crane was seriously injured when he crashed through the rear window of a competitor’s team vehicle; he was scheduled for surgery for facial lacerations on Monday.

It’s a bittersweet moment in Colorado when one of pro cycling’s toughest and most aggressive riders calls it a day, as Jens Voigt retires after an amazing 17 years. Typically, he almost won his last race in a breakaway before being reeled in by the peloton with just one mile to go.

Aussie Michael Matthews takes the leader’s jersey in the Vuelta after three stages. The Lampre-Merida team tells its star rider not to be such a prima donna.

Brit rider Lizzie Armistead wraps up the Women’s Road World Cup with one race still to go.

And Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson offers an amusing look at bike racing much lower on the food chain for Peloton Magazine.

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Local

LA is on the verge of buying a key property for the revitalization of the LA River, across from the popular bike path through Elysium Valley.

The bike-centric Levis Commuter Workspace pop-up in DTLA hosts a closing party this Friday.

The Atwater Village Neighborhood Council opposes a bike-friendly road diet on the Glendale-Hyperion bridge, despite support for the proposal from other local NCs.

Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach want your input on where to place mini bike corrals — that’s mini corrals for bikes, not corrals for mini bikes — on Thursday, September 11th.

 

State

Interesting idea, as an architect proposes converting one half of San Diego’s University Ave in the Hillcrest neighborhood into parking and bikeways, with the remaining portion one lane of traffic in each direction.

BikeSD looks at the failure of San Diego’s 1975 Regional Transportation Plan and how it still shapes the city today.

New separated bike lanes will open on Highway 101 between Carpinteria and Ventura within the next week.

Despite questions from some wrong-headed council members, Santa Barbara needs more bike lanes.

Santa Maria area riders complain about victim blaming and the dangers cyclists face on the road. Then again, so does virtually every rider, everywhere.

The Sacramento paper says an improved bike network is essential for the city.

 

National

Bloomberg maps the nation’s 25 top bike commuting cities — though inexplicably mislabeling it as a bike share map. Santa Monica is the only SoCal city to make the list.

After a seven-year old Albuquerque boy refuses to loan him his bike, a man pushes him off and takes it anyway. Fortunately, police arrested the schmuck shortly afterwards.

A Boston bike blamer says the only solution in the imaginary war between cyclists and drivers is separate but equal infrastructure.

 

International

Once again Britain’s Cycling Embassy offers a truly outstanding international blog roundup.

Twenty-five ways to cross a major highway in the Netherlands.

Brisbane needs to seriously upgrade a major bike path if they want to encourage more women to ride.

China takes the lead in bike share, going from zero to 650,000 rental bikes in just seven years.

 

Finally…

Just weeks before he died, Robin Williams donated his beloved, custom-made Pegoretti bike to an auction, where it raised $20,000 to fund scholarships for underprivileged students.

Even suffering from depression, there was no stopping that big heart.

 

Weekend Links: Three LA riders shot, one killed in separate attacks; Mad Men producer will bike to Emmys

Be careful waiting for transit late at night.

An Eastside bike rider was shot and robbed of his cruiser bike early Friday at the Metro Station on the 200 block of Indiana Street. Police are looking for a man and a woman.

Then again, let this be a reminder to always be aware of your surroundings, especially when you’re alone at night.

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According to the LA Times, two motorized bike riders were shot in South LA Saturday evening; sadly, one of the victims, a man in his 30s who has not been publicly identified, was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The reason for the shooting is unknown. A report on KABC-7, not yet available as this goes online, says it did not appear to be gang related.

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For the first time in my knowledge, a nominee for a major Hollywood award will arrive by bike, as Mad Men writer/producer Tom Smuts will ride 15-miles from his Santa Monica home to Monday’s Emmy Awards at Downtown’s LA Live. He’ll be riding with a group of fellow attendees on a route designed with help from the LACBC.

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Barring catastrophe, Teejay van Garderen wrapped up his second consecutive victory in Colorado’s USA Pro Challenge by setting a new course record in the individual time trial. Uphill. And in the rain.

As the Pro Challenge wraps up, the Vuelta a España kicks off; Bicycling tells you who to watch.

And speaking of which, Helen’s Cycles is sponsoring a Vuelta Challenge Party on Saturday, September 6th; the same day, they’re also holding a group ride for intermediate to advanced cyclists.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton takes councilmember Gil Cedillo to task for honoring an 84-year old Korean War vet killed while crossing North Figueroa, despite killing the street safety improvements that might have prevented his death. Meanwhile, Orange 20 says when Cedillo won, LA lost.

Original LA bike advocate and recent father Joe Linton offers advice on when, where and why to bike or walk with a baby.

The final Crank Mob ride rolls on Saturday, September 20th with The Last Crankmass.

Beverly Hills may be the Biking Black Hole, but their police take distracted driving seriously, at least for a day.

Maybe things are finally getting better for cyclists in the San Gabriel Valley, as both Pasadena and San Gabriel pursue robust bike plans.

 

State

A podcast interviews LA ultra-distance rider and Furnace Creek 508 and Badwater 135 producer Chris Kostman.

OC riders are invited to meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday in Seal Beach and Fullerton, respectively, to discuss a proposed 66-mile bikeway loop through the county.

A San Diego ninja cyclist was injured in a collision early Friday morning, yet a local TV station somehow considers his lack of a helmet to be the most important detail.

Oakland looks to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians.

 

National

NPR responds to complaints that a recent story about LA Bike Trains incited violence against cyclists.

Bicycling’s Elly Blue goes in search of her five-figure bike.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske offers advice on what to do if you’re hit by a car in Oregon; the same advice holds true just about anywhere.

Evidently, bike thieves will steal anything, as vandals strip Washington’s famous bike in a tree.

Local business people freak out over a new road diet and parking protected bike lanes in Salt Lake City.

A Nashville writer asks if we can all share the roads without someone ending up in the hospital. Good question.

New York firefighters rescue a salmon cyclist and her adorable puppy after her bike is hit by a sanitation truck.

If you think it’s hard riding in DC now, imagine what it was like in 1982.

 

International

New British study shows riding to work really does make you thinner. Then again, so does taking public transport.

Scary. A 96-year old UK woman apologizes for killing a cyclist and seriously injuring the victim’s husband — even though she can’t remember the crash.

An Irish cyclist rides 8,700 miles from Dublin to Beijing.

Tragically, 20-year old Dutch mountain biker Annefleur Kalvenhaar was killed after falling in a qualifying race for the UCI World Cup.

Instead of focusing on making the streets safer, Aussie police bust 76 cyclists for riding without helmets.

 

Finally…

A rare triple caught on video: The top 10 epic fails of drunken Russian bike riders. Cam Zink successfully lands a 100 foot mountain bike backflip. And a Polish cyclist hits a hidden pothole and does a faceplant in a major puddle; then again, if this is the worst day of his life, as the headline suggests, he must be having a pretty good one.

 

Morning Links: Sad Fiesta Island news, for and against the 3-foot law, and a new reflector could stop cars sooner

We have a lot to catch up on after yesterday’s unexcused absence,* so let’s get to it.

………

Bad news from San Diego. The wife of the cyclist critically injured by an allegedly drunk and/or high wrong way driver on Fiesta Island says he’s on a breathing machine and fighting for his life; if he survives, he’ll be paralyzed from the waist down.

Sounds like prayers or good wishes are in order, whichever you’re comfortable with.

……..

The family of fallen randonneur Matthew O’Neill encourages drivers to observe the new three-foot passing law and change lanes to pass a cyclist.

Meanwhile, a website uses video from the Rock Store climb, aka The Snake, to suggest the three-foot law will make driving impossible, even though passing at an unsafe distance has always been illegal; the only thing this law changes is specifying just what a minimum safe distance is. And the rider in question is legally taking the lane on what is clearly a substandard lane.

Bottom line, as a side-by-side comparison of these two stories make clear, observing the three-foot law is a question of safety — that is, someone’s life — versus a minor inconvenience to impatient motorists.

I know which side I fall on.

……..

This could be a big step forward in bike safety, as a new reflector tricks the Crash Avoidance System found in many new cars into seeing a cyclist or pedestrian as being closer or larger than they really are. The makers are looking for a strategic partner to help bring it to the right markets; this could be a great investment for someone with the right knowledge.

And yes, I want one. Now.

Thanks to new ROAD Magazine editor Chris Klibowitz for the heads-up.

……..

Time to loosen up those wallets. The Kickstarter for BikinginLA sponsor AnyKicks has just over $18,000 to raise with two weeks to go.

Let’s push ‘em over the top and show bike shops and manufacturers that advertising on here really works. And fund a deserving project while we’re at it.

……..

Evidently, the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree, either. The father of the teenage driver who got off using the affluenza defense was arrested last month for impersonating a police officer.

If you’ll recall, his 16-year old spawn got away with killing four people in an under-aged drunken crash when the judge agreed his parents were too rich for him to be expected to take responsibility for his own actions.

Thanks to the Witch on a Bicycle for the link.

……..

Elia Viviani wins the fourth stage of the USA Pro Challenge after retiring rider Jens Voigt fades after a 40 km solo breakaway; that other famous bike rider from my hometown keeps the leader’s jersey.

Is it just me, or is there less interest in the Pro Challenge this year? There seems to be a lot less press coverage this time around. Except for the drunk driver who somehow made it onto the closed course.

Italy’s economic woes lead to the merger of the Cannondale/Liquigas and Slipstream teams. And Vavel previews the first seven stages of the Vuelta, along with the seven that follow.

……..

Local

Boyle Heights residents worry the new Eastside extension of the Downtown CicLAvia route will lead to increased gentrification, while LA’s incredibly popular open streets event officially comes to the San Fernando Valley next March.

A ride marshal is ticketed — and may have been intentionally doored by police — for running a red light on the Clitoral Mass ride.

The LA Times looks at the new Timbuk2 store on Abbot Kinney in Venice.

Sweet Ride USA invites you to explore the intersection of bikes and sweets in Little Tokyo this Saturday. The Santa Monica Museum of Arts’ Tour Da Arts rolls on Sunday, as does the LACBC’s Sunday Funday ride through Carson.

A chef famed around the world for his cuisine and temper gets his new bike on at Cynergy.

The bike friendly Fiesta La Ballona takes place in Culver City this weekend.

LACBC local chapter Bike Walk Glendale sponsors Operation Firefly to give free bike lights to riders without them.

 

State

The state legislature passes a bill allowing local jurisdictions to tack an extra $5 onto vehicle registration fees to fund bicycle infrastructure. But what are the chances of actually getting 2/3 of drivers to tax themselves to fund bike projects?

Laguna Beach votes to explore ways to ease congestion and improve bike and pedestrian access on Laguna Canyon Road.

The Bike League profiles BikeSD’s own Sam Ollinger, who has quickly risen to become one of the leading bike advocates — not women’s bike advocate, thank you — in the US.

An Ohio man pleads no contest in the alleged DUI hit-and-run that took the life of a Chico State cyclist.

The EPA honors a 116-mile bike path from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake; when a new segment opens, it will be 75% complete.

 

National

CNN asks if Lance’s lies and bullying can be forgiven. The former, maybe; the latter, not so much.

Protected bike lanes are rapidly spreading throughout the US.

Our own Boyonabike looks at riding in bike friendly Portlandia.

Life is cheap in Utah, when not even killing a bike riding judge while driving distracted is enough to get authorities to take traffic crime seriously, as the driver gets off with a lousy $670 fine and six months probation.

Seventy-year old basketball great Rick Barry is slowly recovering from a bad solo bike crash in Colorado.

University of Chicago Hospitals illegally applies stickers to discourage legal bike parking.

A New York cyclist is fined $675 and loses her drivers license for running a red light on her bike and not having a bell — $5 more than some states fine drivers for killing someone.

The Washington Post asks if bike riders should be allowed to roll stop signs. The obvious answer is yes, but good luck convincing most motorists. And voters.

 

International

A writer for the Vancouver Sun says bike lanes will do more to protect cyclists than helmets.

Toronto authorities exonerate a local police department on accusations that they whitewashed a case involving the wife of an officer who killed a cyclist. Even though they failed to test the driver for drugs or alcohol and allowed her to drive home while the investigation at the scene was still ongoing.

Northern Ireland plans a two week bicycling festival.

Caught on video: An Edinburgh cyclist learns first hand the dangers of getting a wheel caught in tram tacks.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: Sometimes it’s the other riders you have to watch out for. It doesn’t even take a whole car to send a cyclist to the hospital; sometimes, a stray part is enough.

And Gizmodo looks at seven bikes that, thankfully, didn’t change bicycling forever.

……..

*My apologies for missing yesterday’s post, as well as a few others in recent weeks. I try to post every weekday; however, while my diabetes is officially under control, I’m still having major health problems that may or may not be related, and which leave me largely incapacitated for much of the day — and have kept me off my bike for the better part of two months. Most days, I’m able to rally long enough to get a new post online, but others — like yesterday — find me down for the count.

Hopefully, my doctors will finally figure out what’s going on, and this too shall pass.

 

Morning Links: Details come out in death of randonneur Matthew O’Neill; new Chinese bike doesn’t need you

Finally, more details on the death of SoCal randonneur Matthew O’Neill outside of Santa Maria earlier this month.

According to the Santa Barbara Independent, O’Neill was riding far to the right on a straight, if narrow, stretch of roadway and was “lit up like a Christmas tree” when he was hit by a truck driven by the unnamed 16-year old son of former Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado.

A spokesman for the CHP says the investigation will take some time, and that all factors — including speed and distracted driving — are being considered. However, they do not believe drugs or alcohol use played a role.

There’s also some question whether the boy was legally allowed to drive the truck and horse trailer, as California law prohibits drivers under 18 from operating a vehicle with a passenger under the age of 20 unless accompanied by an adult over 25 years old. The only passenger in the truck was his 18-year old brother; he was also a passenger when his mother was involved in another fatal collision on the same stretch of roadway two years earlier.

Reading between the lines, it sounds like an inexperienced driver attempted to squeeze past the victim’s recumbent bike without changing lanes, and sideswiped him with the truck or trailer.

Whether that’s enough for the CHP to recommend charges against a member of a politically powerful family remains to be seen.

……..

Good read from Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman on how bikes can help reclaim public space for marginalized communities.

There is no earthly reason that men of color should feel that the act of walking or riding a bicycle down the street is akin to extending an embossed invitation to police to stop, question, and frisk them, hand them bogus tickets (for not having bike lights in the day time, for example), or worse.

Amen, sister.

……..

Matthew Gomez writes to report the city of Arcadia just installed new bike lanes on 1st between Colorado and St. Joseph. It’s only three blocks, but it’s a start.

……..

Local

LA cyclist Zachary Rynew looks at the anatomy of a bike wreck, which, like most, clearly didn’t need to happen; he reports the injured riders still aren’t back on their bikes.

A occasionally bike riding columnist for the Pasadena Star-News just doesn’t get the animosity some drivers and San Marino residents have for cyclists.

KCET looks at plans for an Emerald Necklace greenbelt around LA County.

 

State

Despite increasing ridership rates, bike versus pedestrian injuries have declined in New York and California.

More than 1,000 riders of every description — including the city’s bike riding mayor — turn out to ride in support of San Diego cyclist Juan Carlos Vinolo, paralyzed by an alleged drunken wrong way driver on Fiesta Island last week.

San Diego’s Bike the Bay rolls this weekend, giving cyclists a once-a-year opportunity to ride the iconic Coronado Bay Bridge.

Our neighbor to the south unveils a website for San Diego’s new Bicycle Advisory Committee.

San Bernardino authorities are looking for a hit-and-run driver who fled on foot after striking another car, then spinning into a cyclist, leaving the critically injured rider in a medically induced coma.

Not surprisingly, San Jose merchants object to the removal of parking spaces in order to install bike lanes. Just like virtually every other merchants in virtually every other city — even though it’s been repeatedly shown bike lanes are good for business.

 

National

Lance still believes he won seven Tours de France; then again, he was there.

Six things to like about Seattle’s new two-way separated bike lanes.

Marijuana-related traffic fatalities are up 100% in pot-friendly Colorado.

Somehow, a South Dakota driver didn’t break any laws in killing a bike rider — despite being cited for failure to use due caution and failure to yield. But other than that…

A new, narrow bike lane may have contributed to a fatal New Hampshire dooring.

New York won’t consider bike lanes or other infrastructure on Park Avenue, despite the recent deaths of three bicyclists.

Caught on video: New York police search for a hit-and-run driver who made a U-turn to intentionally run over a pedestrian.

 

International

Chilean students design a bike that doesn’t need a lock. Because it is one.

If legendary rock drummer Ginger Baker hadn’t been hit by a car while riding his bike when he was 16, he might have become a professional cyclist, instead; he credits long-distance riding with the stamina needed to play the drums.

Despite calling for them now, London cyclists fought separated bike lanes 80 years ago.

In yet another anti-bike terrorist attack, a young British girl is nearly decapitated when someone strings a bike brake cable across a popular pathway.

If cyclists are breaking the law, there’s a problem with the street.

Caught on video: A Dublin tour guide is a Facebook hero after tackling a bike thief.

French pro Thomas Voeckler suffers his fourth broken collarbone in a collision with a car.

The author of an anti-bike Aussie Facebook page now calls for détente between cyclists and motorists.

 

Finally…

There’s got to be a story here, as a Burlingame cyclist gets into an argument with a man whose dog peed on his bike helmet; hopefully, he wasn’t wearing it at the time.

And forget driverless cars; a Chinese firm is developing an autonomous, self-riding bike. But then, what would be the point?

 

Morning Links: What DTLA can learn from NYC, guilty plea in Fallbrook hit-and-run, new distracted driving app

Local

What Downtown LA can learn from New York City — starting with road diets and pedestrian plazas.

Metro wants your help to plan possible bike share locations.

Setting an example by what you wear when you ride.

The LA Times endorses closing a loophole that allows hit-and-run drivers to buy their way out of criminal charges.

The LACBC offers photos from Sunday’s Hot August Bikes at Amoeba Records.

The sixth edition of the Santa Monica Museum of Art’s popular Tour de Arts rolls this Sunday.

 

State

Laguna Beach city councilmembers get on their bikes to get a feel for bike safety.

Anaheim opens up for comments on the city’s proposed bicycle master plan.

San Diego cyclists plan to recreate last week’s ill-fated Fiesta Island ride that sent several riders to the hospital, thanks to an allegedly drunk and possibly high wrong way driver.

A Fallbrook driver pleads guilty to a hit-and-run that seriously injured a cyclist.

 

National

Not surprisingly, the more cities invest in bicycling infrastructure, the more they get out of it in the long term.

New heads-up display app gives drivers something to pay attention to. Other than what’s on the road in front of them, that is.

How to claim your place among the wealthy elite on bikes.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske rebuts arguments that call for licensing cyclists.

The 18-year old Aspen kid who beat Lance on a mountain bike rides his first year as a road pro, while Taylor Phinney is back in BMC colors, albeit far from ready to race.

A Pittsburgh shopper goes on strike against his favorite store until they install bike racks.

A scofflaw Jared Leto illegally rides on a New York sidewalk. As has been pointed out before, though, few cyclists will ride on the sidewalk if they feel safe on the street. Celebs included.

 

International

A look at what may be Britain’s most dangerous bike lane.

London’s Evening Standard looks at bike bells.

A New Zealand political party calls for scrapping the country’s mandatory helmet law to boost bicycling.

 

Finally…

A British gang drives off with a woman’s car after tricking her into thinking she’d hit a cyclist. Of course, that wouldn’t work in LA, because the driver probably wouldn’t stop.

 

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