Tag Archive for Big Orange Cycling

Morning Links: LA bike advocate Dennis Hindman is missing, and former a SoCal cyclist killed in Arizona

Unfortunately, we have to start the week with bad news.

Longtime Los Angeles bike advocate Dennis Hindman has been reported missing by his family, according to a message I received from his niece.

It’s unclear how long it’s been since anyone has seen or heard from the Toluca Lake resident; CiclaValley reports he has been missing for over two months, though a convenience store clerk said she’d seen him just two to three days ago.

Hindman is one of the city’s best bike safety and policy wonks, capable of digging into the smallest details of a project to highlight a specific issue, or uncover hidden problems or unexpected benefits.

He has been a supporter of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition for nearly a decade, if not longer. During my time on the board he was an active participant in virtually every committee I was involved in, and never failed to volunteer for the bike count or attend any LACBC event.

He’s also a semi-regular contributor to this site, as well as others. And a frequent commenter on LA Streetsblog dating back nearly to its founding, offering detailed statistics to back up his opinions.

And he’s someone I consider a friend.

Let’s hope this is just a big misunderstanding, and he turns up safe and sound, with a good explanation for why he’s been gone.

If you have any information on his disappearance or where he might be, please contact me and I’ll forward it to the right people.

Update: I’ve received more information from Hindman’s niece.

His family is concerned that he may have had a diabetic episode; apparently he was hospitalized at the end of August for extremely high blood sugar.

His rent was last paid in mid-September, and has not been paid for this month; a police officer visited his apartment and discovered the milk in his refrigerator had expired in August and his bicycle was missing. 

Where he was been for the last two months remains a mystery.  

Update 2: Dennis Hindman has been found safe in a local hospital. More details when they’re available.

………

More bad news, as a member of the Big Orange Cycling club was killed in a collision while riding outside Phoenix AZ yesterday.

The victim has been identified on Facebook as 36-year old Rob Dollar.

No details on how the crash occurred are currently available; however, Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson suggests that a teenage driver may have drifted into his lane.

I’m told Dollar had recently moved to Gilbert, Arizona, where he was in the process of forming an Arizona chapter of the SoCal riding club.

He’s described as fantastic guy with a big heart, and “a total badass on a bike.”

This comes exactly one week after Big Orange member Dan Martin was severely injured in a crash while riding home last Sunday, leaving him in the ICU with a broken neck. A crowdfunding campaign to help defray his medical bills has raised over $18,000 in four days.

Update: A Phoenix TV station reports that 19-year old Annaleah Dominguez has been charged with manslaughter and drug charges in Dollar’s death. 

She was reportedly driving stoned when she crossed onto the wrong side of the road to avoid another cyclist, and hit Dollar head-on. 

Police recovered what’s described as “a quantity” of marijuana that had been tossed outside her car by Dominguez or her passengers.

Dollar had been descending from the top of South Mountain when he was struck by the car around 9:40 am; he died at the scene.

Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

………

Sad news of a different sort, as Bike SD founder and Executive Director Sam Ollinger is leaving the organization, which has helped turn San Diego into what is rapidly becoming one of the most bicycle friendly cities in Southern California.

I first encountered Sam when she emailed me asking what one person could be do to help make what was then a very challenging and bike-unfriendly city a little safer for people on two wheels.

I have no idea what I told her.

But I’ve watched as she’s become one of California’s leading bike advocates, helping pave the way for women to rise to the highest ranks of advocacy.

There’s no doubt that she will do well at whatever she chooses to do next.

But San Diego bicyclists owe her a huge debt. And the city will be much poorer without Sam’s voice.

………

As we’ve noted before, the war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A Kentucky woman was injured by fishing line strung at neck level in an Elizabethtown park; police found several other booby traps hidden nearby.

A road raging Toronto driver brushes a bicyclist with his mirror, then tries to run him off the road.

A tailgating British driver get 17 months, along with a 21-month ban on driving, for attacking a bike rider who asked if he’d just robbed a bank.

And an Aussie rider was hit in the face with a cup of ice thrown from a passing car, breaking his glasses and cracking his helmet.

………

On the other hand, bike riders aren’t always the good guys. Or the victims.

Tragic irony, as a 91-year old New Hampshire woman who had travelled the world by bicycle with her husband was killed in a collision with a bike rider as she walking along a roadway.

A 73-year old British man selling memorial poppies was seriously injured when he was stuck by a bike rider.

And a Singaporean bicyclist is facing charges for killing a 73-year old pedestrian in a crash.

However, let’s not forget that, regardless of how the media portrays it, the person on the bike is not always at fault.

You should always use extreme care around pedestrians, grant them the right-of-way, and slow down to pass them with the same sort of margin you’d expect from a driver.

But people can be unpredictable under the best circumstances. I’m sure most of us have had someone step into the roadway to cross without looking, or make an unexpected turn into your path.

Just as drivers have an obligation to avoid us, we have an obligation to avoid crashing into people on foot if it’s at all possible.

But if it isn’t, it’s not always the person on two wheels who should get the blame.

………

After all that, we could all use a little good news.

A Colorado bicyclist is back on his bike after keeling over from a heart attack in the middle of a ride; he can credit a pair of Good Samaritans with saving his life until paramedics could arrive.

When a British man had to stop mountain biking after ten years due to illness, his friends pitched in to buy him an ebike. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

After a road raging Brit driver posted video of a small group of cyclists riding in the lane ahead of him instead of a bike lane, the police respond by saying they had every right to be there.

No, really.

………

Local

Don’t plan on riding the curb-protected bike lanes on South Figueroa anytime soon. Urbanize.LA reports the MyFigueroa project now won’t be finished until next spring.

The LAPD blames the victim — and the press parrots it — after a pedestrian was killed in a Venice crosswalk when a driver stopped for him in the right lane, and a speeding driver whipped around him on his left. Yet somehow, the police say the victim stepped out into traffic, even though he was in a crosswalk with the right-of-way. Take this as a warning to never cross a street, on your bike or on foot, until every driver stops.

This is the callousness some drivers — and some prosecutors — have. After a pickup driver slammed into two women walking in a crosswalk near the 101 Freeway in Calabasas, killing one and injuring her daughter, the driver got out and dragged the dead woman to the side of the road, then backed up, parked her truck and pretended to be a witness to the crash. And the LA County DA’s office refused to file the serious charges recommended by the CHP, opting for just a single misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter count with a max of one year in jail.

A UCLA podcast talks bikeshare on campus.

 

State

Shockingly, the Bike League ranks California third among bike-friendly states; Nebraska comes in dead last. The question is whether California was really that good, or everyone else just sucked that bad.

Around ten thousand people turned out for Sunday’s CicloSDias in San Diego. Or maybe it was only hundreds.

If you build it, they will try to destroy it. A transit-oriented San Diego community is fighting plans to put a freeway onramp in the middle of their neighborhood, after a local non-profit whose mission is to get people out of their cars inexplicably endorses it.

San Francisco bike advocates get a crash course on the ins and outs of building bike parking.

 

National

Two new studies suggest self-driving cars could lead to even greater congestion, while forcing bike riders off the road. Although at this point, you can probably find a study suggesting autonomous vehicles will lead to everything from a bicycling Nirvana to an automotive apocalypse.

A Las Vegas cyclist talks about the dangers riders face on the roads.

A Colorado man has developed a new bike racing board game based on the Little 500 made famous in Breaking Away.

A bridge over Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River gets a road diet to make room for a bike lane crossing it.

Detroit is naming a new bikeway after legendary boxer Joe Louis.

New York police shut down a bicycle jousting tournament, but can’t manage to kill it.

A New York writer says banning ebikes won’t solve the problem of scofflaw cyclists. Never mind that the people he’s complaining about are just trying to earn a living at the bottom of the food chain.

No disconnect here. A New York writer says nine bicyclists has been killed in the city so far this year, then goes on to say “bicyclists are the most dangerous group on NYC roads.” If getting killed makes you dangerous, then baby harp seals must be the most vicious animals on earth.

An Op-Ed in the Washington Post says there’s still some kinks to work out, but dockless bikeshare could be a success.

No disconnect here. A Virginia letter writer says cyclists should use common sense and stay off a road where drivers can’t seem to stay of the gas pedal.

Oh, nothing. Just a South Carolina man riding his bike with a deer slung over his shoulder.

 

International

A Vancouver man calls bike lanes the bane of his existence, suggesting any new bike lanes should have to be approved by referendum.

An Ottawa woman heads a group that rescues injured birds, setting out by bike early every morning to look for birds that have crashed into windows.

Montreal bike riders call for better safety, saying “If you do nothing, we will continue to die.”

An anonymous writer pens a heartbreaking letter to the speeding driver who killed his or her teenage sister as she rode her bike; decades later, the family is still waiting for an apology.

If you build it, they will come. A protected bike lane in Manchester, England is recording over 5,000 trips a day, comparable to London’s cycle superhighways.

A British bicyclist learns that a travel insurance policy offering “comprehensive cover while cycling” doesn’t exactly mean comprehensive. Or cover what you go cycling on.

Steve Katz forwards video of police in the UK going undercover to catch drivers making illegal close passes.

Pope Francis has been invited to launch the Giro d’Italia when it kicks off in Jerusalem next year.

Drivers in West Australia will now face a $400 fine and four points against their license for passing a bike rider closer than the equivalent of roughly three feet at up to 37 mph, or four and a half feet over that speed. In California, it’s just a $35 fine for passing closer than three feet at any speed. And even that is optional if the driver slows down to pass closer at a closer distance.

File this one under you’ve got to be kidding. An Australian writer says bikeshare is a terrorist’s best friend, because a bomb could be hidden in one. After all, it’s just so hard to find a cheap bicycle, or steal one, for that matter. Or some other object that could conceal an explosive device, like a car, backpack or baby carriage.

 

Finally…

Cyclists take part in a five day, week long ride through Israel; evidently, the weeks are shorter over there. If an underage kid gives you money to buy him beer, don’t just pocket it and ride away.

And if you missed it, a bicyclist twice saluted President Trump as his motorcade left his Virginia golf club on Saturday.

With one finger.

Thanks to Al Williams for the heads-up.

 

Morning Links: Venice Great Streets attacked, Bonin recall leader criticized, and LA cyclist sets Le Mans record

Clearly, the battle over the Venice Great Streets project is far from over.

Despite the recent vote by the Mar Vista Community Council to keep the project in place while requesting more data, opponents of the project are back at it again, demanding that the street be returned to its previous six lane configuration.

The latest attack comes tonight, when the MVCC Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will consider two motions to reverse the lane reductions and protected bike lanes, under the false flag of improving safety for bicyclists. Along with motions to require all bike riders to wear a helmet and have “reflective night-lights” installed on their bikes.

Whatever that means.

Maybe someone should tell them that bikes are already required to have lights after dark. And nightlights are what you install in your kids’ bedroom so they won’t be afraid of the dark, or so grandma won’t trip in the bathroom at night.

Then again, they also want to see laws banning people from looking at their “mobile electronic devices” while crossing the street. Because everyone knows distracted pedestrians are the real problem, not all those texting drivers in their multi-ton SUVs.

Right.

Sound more like the leadership of the committee is suffering from a serious case of windshield bias, and can’t wait until they’re free to go zoom zoom down the boulevard once again.

And never mind that the paint used to create the current configuration costs roughly $50,000 a mile, plus the cost of the plastic bollards, while the permanent road reconfiguration and paved off-road bike paths they propose could add up to tens of millions of dollars, if not more.

I suppose they could have a bake sale to pay for it.

And if they think people are pissed off now, just wait until they try to take their parking spaces away.

This email, from someone who requested that her name not be used, sums it up nicely.

I live in Mar Vista & just got this agenda for the neighborhood council meeting tomorrow. It is chock-full of anti-bike motions, from getting rid of the Venice Blvd bike lanes immediately to supporting mandatory helmet & reflector laws and banning texting while crossing the street to discourage obstacles (er, “distracted pedestrians”) from entering the roadway.

They are trying to frame killing the Venice bike lanes as pro-safety by couching it within a seemingly thoughtful proposal to build out a bunch of off-road bikeways through the neighborhood on side streets, which is great except that probably won’t happen anytime soon and will definitely be less convenient/slower than what we have now. As far as I can tell the short term proposal is to restore 3 lanes of traffic on Venice and put the bike lanes next to the cars again.

Super-shady that they announce these things with 24 hours’ notice…. hope some other bikers in the neighborhood have time to make it.

The meeting is scheduled for 7:30 to 9 pm tonight at the Windward School, in room 1030 of Building C (by the baseball diamond), 11350 Palms Blvd.

Note: The meeting agenda says it’s scheduled for 7:30 pm to 9 pm, despite the email to community members linked to above that incorrectly says 6 pm. Sorry for any confusion. Thanks to rob kadota for the heads-up.

Be there if you can make it.

Because they’re counting on the short notice to pack the house with bike lane and road diet opponents tonight, and crowd out any support for the project.

And while you’re at it, contact CD 11 Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office, and tell him you support the Venice Blvd Great Streets Project to improve safety and increase livability in one of LA’s previously neglected neighborhoods.

Because he’s the one who will ultimately make the decision.

And your voice matters.

………

Speaking of Bonin, a writer for Medium outs fellow progressive and self-described Berniecrat Alexis Edelstein as one of the leaders of the NIMBY-led effort to recall him.

Mike Bonin is one of the most progressive members of the council, and he has a track record of leading on the issues that matter most to the progressive movement. Bonin is the author of the $15 minimum wage, author of the most comprehensive clean money campaign-finance reform in the recent history of Los Angeles, author of the fracking moratorium and the effort to reach 100% clean energy and I am writing this to call out Alexis’ effort as nothing more than a NIMBY assault on a true progressive. Alexis, like most Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) activists got activated when something happened in his backyard — in this case a street safety measure (reduced lanes/added bike lanes) that the department of transportation installed with Bonin’s support and approval, which caused some additional traffic. Trying to make your community a safer place for pedestrians has never been more vilified than in this situation. Is this really grounds for a recall? Absolutely not!…

As he has sought to raise money for the recall effort, Alexis has started tapping into networks and groups that were established to continue moving forward the progressive agenda that was deeply ingrained within us during the presidential primary, the good ole’ days. I do not appreciate my movement being hijacked by someone who is so angry about an effort to save people from speeding cars in his neighborhood that he would call for a recall of a progressive Councilmember. Alexis’ actions distract elected officials and community activist from important matters that need to be address within the district. Alexis’ underhanded and misleading tactics need to be called out.

He goes on to decry a lack of transparency in the campaign, while adding what he sees as the real reason behind Edelstein’s efforts.

The recall has already allowed Alexis to frequent alt-right radio programs to promote and solicit funds for the recall, and every time he has gone on these shows to cozy up to racist shock jocks, he has made sure to use the social media accounts he set up for the recall to share his media appearances and promote himself. The voters of CD 11 made their voices heard loud and clear during March’s Election, but Alexis is behaving like a scheming opportunist who is blatantly rallying against Bonin because he thinks it will get him some press and boost his fledgling political career.

………

Somehow, this one slipped under the radar.

So let’s all offer a belated congratulations to Evens Stievenart of LA’s Big Orange Cycling for successfully defending his championship in the solo category of the 24 Hours of LeMans Cycling last month.

A former race car driver, Stievenart set a new record by riding a whopping 593 miles in the 24 hour period.

You can read the original news story in French, or settle for a bad Google translation.

Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

………

It’s more of the same in the Vuelta following Tuesday’s individual time trial; Cycling Weekly offers video highlights.

Andrew Talansky, one of America’s top cyclists for the past several years, has announced his retirement at the ripe old age of 28.

Nothing like having Jens Voigt show up to compete in your local club time trial. Twice.

Pro cycling’s infamous dope doctor gets a whole nine months behind bars after being convicted as the kingpin of a doping network that incited amateur athletes to cheat.

……….

Local

Self-described transportation justice advocate Monique López, Deputy Executive Director of Advocacy for the LACBC, describes what she thinks about when she rides her bike through the mean streets of LA.

A cyclist riding in Malibu’s Latigo Canyon was run down by a hit-and-run motorcyclist over the Labor Day Weekend (scroll down), suffering a shattered wrist and elbow; the moto rider stopped briefly to give a possibly fake name, and explain that he was trying to pass the bike rider on the right after hitting some gravel. Then again, it’s not the first time something like that has happened.

CiclaValley writes how the weekend’s massive La Tuna fire hit close to home in more ways than one.

 

State

San Diego’s struggling DecoBike bikeshare system will remove 16 popular docking stations from the boardwalks in beach communities at the urging of local residents and business owners. Which will make it more difficult for bikeshare users to ride to San Diego’s popular beaches, defeating the whole purpose of trying to get people out of their cars.

The pedestrian critically injured when a Hemet driver had a sneezing fit was a 16-year old girl walking with her bike-riding boyfriend; she remains in critical condition with major injuries following two emergency surgeries.

Riverside authorities are still looking for the hit-and-run van driver who killed Forrest Holmes as he rode his bike on Limonite Ave in Jurupa Valley one year ago today.

A 40-year Hollister cyclist says things have gotten a lot better for bicyclists in the area in recent years.

Mountain View parents say a road diet has made it nearly impossible to drop their kids off at school. Never mind that the project is still under construction. Or that maybe they could bike or walk to school with their kids once it’s finished.

 

National

Forbes says Oregon’s new $15 tax on bikes over $200 as part of a $5.3 billion transportation package could represent the future of infrastructure funding.

A pair for researchers are urging Seattle to force private bikeshare companies to provide helmets for riders, in an apparent attempt to kill bikeshare in the city a second time.

A section of a bike path through the University of Idaho will be renamed after three-time Olympic gold medal cyclist Kristin Armstrong.

A Philadelphia writer says the city’s first parking-protected bike lane isn’t good enough.

Kindhearted Orlando FL cops pitch in to buy a new bike for a young boy after his was stolen off his porch.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump evidently prefer to do their cycling inside their DC home.

 

International

A Canadian father complains about parents who park in a bike lane to drop their kids off at school. More proof that bike riders everywhere face the same problems.

An arrest has finally been made in the hit-and-run death of the mother of British cycling legend Chris Boardman last year; a man and a woman have been charged in the death and subsequent cover-up. Meanwhile, Guardian readers react to his recent claim that Britain’s streets are too dangerous to ride.

Bicycle Dutch explains why there’s no such thing as jaywalking in the Netherlands.

A group of Malaysian endurance athletes have become the first to ride and carry their mountain bikes up Nepal’s 26,545 Annapurna, one of the world’s highest mountains.

 

Finally…

Bicycles, the choice of supermarket meat thieves everywhere. No, refusing to give your name after getting busted for bike rustling won’t keep you out of the slammer.

And once you start down the stairs, don’t hit the brakes.

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