Tag Archive for bike theft

Morning Links: BOLO alerts for a bike thief and a stolen e-bike, and a section of the LA River bike path closes

Get comfortable. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover today.


There’s a special place in hell for the jerk who pushed an 11-year old boy off the bicycle he just won, then rode off with it after placing a small girl on the handlebars.

It happened on Halloween at Ted Watkins Park in the Florence-Firestone neighborhood. Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Daniel Cerda at the Sheriff’s Department’s Parks Bureau, 213/216-7675.


The closure of a one-mile segment of the LA River bike path begins on Monday. Riders will be detoured through Griffith Park to avoid construction to add carpool lanes on the 5 Freeway.



Keep your eyes open for an e-bike stolen from Andrew Yip of BikeSGV, which was used to transport materials for the organization, as well as worn out kids.



Calbike provides the voting records on bike bills for the every member of the state Assembly and Senate.

If your representative scored poorly, you might want to have a talk with him or her.


Utah gets the point across when it comes to distracted driving.




LAist considers what it will be like to use the coming Metro bikeshare system in DTLA, while Metro wants your help to determine just where those stations should be located.

CiclaValley offers his favorite routes from the Valley to DTLA.

Santa Monica gets its first protected bike lane down the center of Pico Blvd, to provide a safer connection from Santa Monica High School to Main Street. Meanwhile, a writer for the Santa Monica Daily Press considers whether bikeshare and that “bike thingy” on Pico are actually useful developments.



Talk about getting tough on crime. Road raging California drivers can lose their license for a whole six months for the first offense.

A writer for Orange Coast magazine previews this year’s “super-subversive” Laguna Beach Tour de Coop chicken coop ride. Except it was actually held last Sunday.

A Newport Beach driver pled not guilty to felony hit-and-run for fleeing the scene after critically injuring a 14-year old girl as she rode her bike on the Balboa Peninsula last August.

A cyclist in Newport Beach suffered just minor injuries when he was hit in a left cross collision on Tuesday.

Celebrate the third anniversary of the Inland Empire Biking Alliance in Redding with the BikesGiving Telethon on November 19th.

Bay Area groups are working to get more women on two wheels.

A Redding bicyclist has died nearly a week after he was hit by a car while riding home from work.



Next City makes the case against eye-searing flashing bike lights. I use two lights; a relatively low-powered light on flashing mode so I can be seen, and a bright light angled down so I can see without blinding others.

Bicycling offers up some classic bike commercials if you have 5:40 to kill.

Smart idea, as Seattle is installing DIY bike repair stations at nine county libraries.

A San Antonio TX man is on trial for killing his roommate because he failed to close the gate after bringing his bicycle into the yard.

A Pittsburgh letter writer seems to be saying it’s a cyclist’s fault that she doesn’t know how to use her mirrors and drives too close to parked cars, while another says sometimes bike riders really are at fault.

Baltimore bike advocates kick off a year-long “I Bike, I Vote” campaign to get bicyclists to the voting booth.

A candidate for mayor of Charleston SC says the most important issue in the campaign is keeping a key bridge for cars only; his opponent says he’s not sold on it either.

Atlanta’s first chief bicycle officer explains how he’s working to turn the auto-centric capitol of the South into a city that serves all road users. Including a road diet on a formerly seven-lane street that provided dedicated space for everyone, while improving automotive throughput and reducing crashes 25%.

A Florida bike thief is under arrest after he was chased down and dragged out of the bushes by a 5’3” mom whose bike he stole; unfortunately, the bike didn’t fare very well.



Apparently, pro cyclists are popping tramadol to kill the pain of racing. Seriously? When take I it, I can barely walk across the street, let alone ride a bike. And forget about a sprint finish.

Cycling News talks with cycling scion Taylor Phinney, who not only made an amazing comeback from a devastating injury, but became a better person in the process.

Um, no. An unpublished British study claims to show bike helmets turn riders into risk takers. All it really shows is that bike helmets may protect from over-inflated balloons.

Here’s another reason to ride. A study from the UK finds that stronger legs reduce the risk of age-related dementia.

An English soccer fan raised the equivalent of over $30,000 riding 15,000 miles to attend last year’s World Cup in South Africa. Then has his Surly stolen from outside his house.

A Brit paper explains how to stay dry while riding in wet weather. Which should be an El Niño primer for bike-riding Angelenos.

Bicycling has decreased in Ireland, but the percentage of people who use bikes as their primary form of transportation has gone up. Although more off-street bike parking in convenient locations might turn that decrease around.

Botswana’s Minister of Transport calls for everyone to use the roads safely and take responsibility for their behavior, yet the press somehow turns that into a call for responsible cycling.

Now that South Australia is allowing bikes on sidewalks, one city wants to impose speed limits. Which only works for bikes with speedometers, of course. And do they plan on ticketing excited kids who pedal too fast on their training wheels?

Now that’s a big bike ride. Around 600,000 Thais have registered for a nationwide ride in honor of the country’s king.



Forget tall bikes; what you really need is a half-block long tandem. If you’re going to cut in and out of a group of cyclists while blaring your horn, try to make sure one of them isn’t the country’s prime minister.

And I’ve been trying to figure out how to take the Corgi on my bike. But this probably isn’t the answer.



Please join me in offering a special thank you and Happy Veterans Day to everyone who’s served our country. 

Morning Links: A reminder to lock your bike the right way, more kind people, and citing Cedillo as a bike expert

There are some sights virtually guaranteed to make any bike rider sad.

Like a lonely wheel still safely secured to a rack, when a thief has made off with the bicycle it was attached to.



Which is a good reminder to always run your U-lock through the frame and back wheel, then around the rack.

If the lock is long enough, you can remove your front wheel and secure it to the back one and frame, or run a cable lock through the wheels, in addition to a U-Lock or heavy duty chain through the frame.

Always make sure the rack, or whatever object you’re locking it to, is securely fastened to the ground and solid enough to withstand bolt cutters or a saw blade. But even though parking meters fit that description, it’s illegal to lock a bike to one in Los Angeles, unless it has one of the newly approved bike rack attachments.

Whenever possible, lock your bike in a well-traveled public place where it can be seen by people passing by; thieves usually prefer secluded spots where they can work undetected.

And don’t forget to register your bike before anything bad happens to increase your chances of getting it back.


Still more kindhearted people.

After a Seattle special needs woman had her customized $10,000 bike stolen, the man who bought it for just $250 gave it back to her when he saw her story in the paper.

And when the bike a Delaware man used to ride with his daughter and Downs Syndrome son was stolen, a stranger gave him a new one.



Richard Risemberg says encountering a wild coyote while riding is nothing compared to dealing with the Greater American Road Hog.

Think he’ll get the point? Highland Park residents set up a Día de los Muertos altar outside the office of CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo to remember the three people who have died on the street since he arbitrarily canceled a planned road diet.



A pair of writers for the Orange County Register say we should forget expensive transit systems and focus our transportation systems on buses and expanding road capacity. Although they lose whatever credibility they might have had when they cite Gil Cedillo’s absurd critique that LA’s “elitist” bike plan would hurt his underprivileged constituents, even though most cyclists are working-class immigrants, especially in districts like his.



Horrifying story from Colorado Springs CO, as three people are killed in a random shooting; the first victim was a man riding his bike who begged for his life before being shot.

Wichita KS cyclists like the new downtown road diets and bike lanes; not surprisingly, drivers not so much.

After an Illinois woman was injured in a shooting, she drove herself and two other victims to the hospital — and on the way, hit a hit a bike rider who works for the hospital she was driving to.

Sounds like fun. Costumed bike riders take part in the 16th Annual Boston Halloween Bike Ride.

Caught on video: A bike-riding Boston-area doctor is intentionally run down by a road raging driver who had honked and yelled at him to get out of the way.

Tragedy in Maryland, as a couple riding a tandem were run down from behind by an accused drunk driver; their killer is charged with DUI and vehicular homicide.



Nice thought, as a writer for VeloNews says cycling can be challenging or even painful, but being alive and able to ride a bike is never suffering.

Seriously? After originally facing a charge of attempted murder for intentionally chasing and running down a bike rider, a UK motorist gets a whopping eight months for dangerous driving. That’s like convicting a robber of malicious mischief for shooting a bank guard.

Britain’s largest bike retailer is now offering insurance for cyclists. So why can’t we see something like that here?

Rather than taming dangerous drivers, an Irish police group wants to require bicyclists, walkers, runners and anyone else not safely ensconced in a couple tons of steel and glass to wear hi-viz after dark.

A Welsh driver stopped and got out of his car to make sure he hadn’t killed a cyclist in a collision, then him lying there in the road; fortunately, the victim wasn’t badly injured.

The director of an Israeli road safety group calls traffic deaths the other war that never ends. However, he also calls e-bikes a blight on the land after just one person is killed this year, compared to the seven that die every week from traffic collisions.

An Aussie writer says thanks to a new one-meter passing law, riding to work isn’t as aggravating as expected, while another says stop the hysteria and give sidewalk riders a chance.

Tie me kangaroo down, sport. Yet another Aussie rider was seriously injured in a collision with one.

Inspiring story from Thailand, as an 11-year old boy with no arms is training to join a bike ride in honor of the king next month; he’s riding a customized bike that used to belong to the crown prince.



The next time you’re bombing downhill, consider that your hydration system could have been part of the military industrial complex. You know you’re a cyclist when you’re buried in full racing kit 60 years after your riding career.

And you have to be a pretty lousy bike thief to be convicted 26 times and banned from owning a bike, being in possession of a bike or advertising a bike or parts for sale.


Morning Links: Anti-bike lane madness grips Coronado, and OC police stop a one man bike-born crime wave

The mainstream — or in this case, mainland — media has discovered the mass anti-bike insanity that has gripped the Coronado peninsula for the past several weeks.

After killing plans for a bike path along the beach, residents of the silver level Bicycle Friendly Community have directed their irrational wrath towards previously approved plans for bike lanes and sharrows.

Unlike the usual complaints about the loss of parking spaces or removal of a traffic lane, local residents brought their pitchforks and torches to a recent council session because they don’t like the way the white lines of paint look against the blacktop, according to San Diego public radio station KBPS.

You are covering Coronado with paint stripe pollution,” said resident Gerry Lounsbury.

“The graffiti on the streets does not help our property values,” declared Aileen Oya.The lanes “bring to mind a visual cacophony that if you look there long enough it will induce a dizzying type of vertigo,” said Carolyn Rogerson.

Gerry MacCartee asked if the community couldn’t think of a better option than “these black streets with these brilliant white lines everywhere because believe me, it takes away from your home, from your outlook on life.”

And Darby Monger crafted an analogy to describe the addition of bike lanes to her beloved city.

“It’s very similar to personally taking all three of my daughters to a tattoo parlor and having them completely body tattooed,” she said.

Never mind that bikeways have been repeatedly shown to not just improve safety, but increase property values for nearby homes.

In fact, real estate agents say bikeways are among the most popular amenities for today’s home buyers.

As for causing vertigo, a trip to the optometrist would seem to be in order.

Or maybe a psychiatrist.


Placentia police stop a one-man crime wave that began when the suspect rode off with a bike after knocking a woman off it.

He then caused a disturbance at an IHOP — directly across from a police station, no less — before fleeing on the bike. And ended his day, and most likely his freedom, trying to carjack a vehicle after he crashed the bike in front of it.


Evidently, the Jewish day of atonement is like a massive ciclovía for Israeli bike riders, who must not think they have anything to atone for, as the streets are vacated out of respect for the sanctity of the day. The transportation minister threatens to pull the plug on the Tel Aviv bikeshare system if it’s in use on Yom Kippur.

Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.


Belarusian rider Vasil Kiryienka took the men’s elite time trial at the worlds on Wednesday, as Tony Martin’s string of six straight podium finishes came to an end. Taylor Phinney continued his remarkable comeback as the top American finisher in 12th place; finishing just two spots higher would have earned the US a second spot in the time trial at the Rio Olympics.

An Aussie women’s cycling website offers a great minute-by-minute recap of Kiwi Linda Villumsen’s victory in the women’s elite time trial.

A Chicago man rode nearly 900 miles to see the races. Hopefully, his spirits won’t be dampened by the rain forecast for the weekend that could affect the races.

Good to know Davis Phinney, former pro, Olympic medalist and father of Taylor, still rides a bike to fight the effects of Parkinson’s. Great news, as pro cyclist Ivan Basso gets the all-clear after treatment for testicular cancer.

And do we really care about Floyd Landis’ case against Lance Armstrong? I didn’t think so.



The Amgen Tour of California may or may not be coming to South Pasadena, as the city wants to know more about costs to host the event and the potential impact on local businesses. It’s like the old saying, if you’ve got to ask, you can’t afford it.

A Nebraska website talks with LACBC Executive Director and Nebraska native Tamika Butler about Sunday’s ride to the Emmy’s with Mad Men producer Tom Smuts.

One of LA’s favorite cycling destinations along the LA River hits the big time, as Anheuser Busch buys Golden Road Brewing, for better or worse.



Saturday is Bike to the Market Day at the Home Grown Farmers Market in Orange.

A Santa Ana gang member was convicted of shooting a rival in the face over a stolen bike. Or a girl.

Rancho Mirage throws the latest wrench into plans for a 50-mile bikeway circling the Coachella Valley, saying they’ll pull out if an environmental impact statement includes roads where they don’t want it to go.

Streetsblog says San Francisco’s police chief misses the point of the city’s attempt to allow cyclists to roll stops as long as they observe the right-of-way. Meanwhile, the local press isn’t above a little fear mongering.

A Lake Tahoe couple turn their passion for bicycling into the region’s only non-profit bike park.



The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials begins discussion of adding protected bike lanes, aka cycle tracks, to the next edition of their very conservative AASHTO bike guide, due to be published no earlier than 2018.

Bicycling offers 107 recommendations of people to follow on social media. I must have come in at number 108. But I’m in good company, since they left Bike Snob, David Hembrow, Lovely Bicycle, Bikeyface and a host of others off the list, as well.

A legendary framebuilder reminisces about riding from Portland to Panama back in ’72.

Portland signs off on a new bikeshare system to roll out next summer. So LA may actually beat one city in the race for bikeshare if everything goes as planned.

San Antonio TX is launching a campaign to remind drivers to pass cyclists and pedestrians safely; a city ordinance requires drivers to give a three-foot passing distance, with a six-foot distance required for trucks.

Drivers often complain that cyclists don’t get traffic tickets; they do in Chicago, as riders get tickets at about the same rate motorists do.

Someone is apparently tossing tacks on Indianapolis bike lanes.

Vermont cyclists offer advice on how to bike safely.

In a rare case of New York police and prosecutors actually taking traffic crimes seriously, a driver will face felony manslaughter and hit-and-run charges in the death of a cyclist earlier this month.

A cyclist riding from Massachusetts to Florida was found dead, apparently from natural causes, after disappearing in North Carolina last week; the trip was his lifelong dream.

Baton Rouge LA is finally taking steps to be more welcoming for bicyclists, despite numerous problems, as five riders discuss their bike commutes in Louisiana’s capital city. One of those problems being a neighborhood where residents would rather have street parking than bike lanes.

The head of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition offers a detailed rebuttal to opposition to bike lanes in the city. Maybe someone should share the link with the good people of Coronado.



Cycling Weekly offers advice on the best ways to upgrade your bike.

The mayor of São Paulo, Brazil is trying to make the traffic-choked city bus- and bike-friendly, despite intense opposition that could cost him his job.

More proof LA isn’t the Netherlands. Business owners in Utrecht actually ask for the removal of parking spaces to make way for bikes and people.

Caught on video: A Russian cyclist just gets back up after being knocked down by a semi.

CNN talks with the South African fan who spent two years riding to the Rugby World Cup about what he learned while riding through 44 African countries.

If you visit Cape Town, hold onto your bike; the city is the bike theft capital of South Africa.

A British cyclist takes a 15 month, 14,000 mile ride through 13 Asian counties.



You too can ride a near replica of the papal bike. A salmon cyclist gets set straight on why it really isn’t safer.

And if you get tired of riding your foldie, just use it as a scooter, instead.


Morning Links: LA Mobility Plan under fire in Sherman Oaks tonight, and bike theft warnings in Brentwood

Once again, an overly simplistic misinterpretation threatens LA’s new mobility plan.

The Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council is scheduled to discuss the plan tonight at their 6:30 pm meeting in the auditorium of the Sherman Oaks, 14750 Dickens Street.


Maybe someone could remind them, as we keep repeating, that those estimates are a worst-case scenario, assuming no one takes advantage opportunity created by the new bus and bike ways and safer sidewalks created by the plan to leave their cars at home.

And that by providing people with viable alternatives, we could actually see a reduction in motor vehicle traffic, resulting in less, not more, congestion.

Of course, all that is clearly explained in the plan itself.

But why bother with the facts — or actually reading the damn thing — when it’s so much fun to fly off in a doomsday panic over a plan designed to ease LA’s traffic choked future?

After all, the city is already gridlocked to a large extent. And continuing on the same auto-centric course only guarantees things will continue to get worse.

If you missed it over the weekend, take a few minutes to read LA Times’ architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne’s remarkably cogent analysis of the mobility plan.

Because it’s cars that have killed the vitality of our city.

And it’s long past time we took it back.

Thanks to Glenn Bailey for the heads-up.


Bailey also forwards a notice about bike thefts from the Brentwood Community Council.


If you follow BikinginLA on Twitter, you’ve no doubt noticed the daily drumbeat of stolen bikes; sometimes several a day. And those are just the ones reported to the Bike Index stolen bike database, which is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bikes taken in the LA area.

So like the notice says, keep your bike inside if at all possible. If not, lock it securely to something solid and immovable.

And make sure you register it now to ensure you have all the information you’ll need if anything does happens to it.


Taylor Phinney continues his amazing comeback from the potentially crippling injury he suffered in a collision with a race moto at last year’s nationals, as his BMC team won the team time trial at the world championships; Velocio-SRAM took the women’s title. Not bad for someone who was told he’d be lucky to walk, let alone ride a bike again.

That $10,000 bike stolen from a Richmond hotel near the finish line of the world’s road course actually belonged to American rider Evelyn Stevenspolice recovered it undamaged in time for Sunday’s time trial.



Richard Risemberg recaps PARKing Day in LA, which demonstrates that curbside parking spaces can be put to better use.

Santa Monica police bust a bike thief found in an alley with numerous bikes, bike parts and burglary tools. If you’ve lost a bike on the Westside recently, you might want to check with them.



A 33-year old Anaheim bike rider was critically injured in a hit-and-run collision Sunday morning; a 17-year old driver has been arrested on felony DUI and hit-and-run charges. Yes, the driver is four years below the legal drinking age, although DUI doesn’t always imply alcohol use. And as others have pointed out, the legal blood alcohol level for minors is zero.

More good news on the purloined bike front, as the man riding across the US with his rescue dog to promote animal adoptions got his stolen Yuba Mundo bike back. No word on whether police recovered his GoPro, GPS, dog toys and other gear.



A Washington father offers advice on how to engineer an elementary school bike train.

Aspen CO police bust a one-man bike theft crime wave.

A 70-year old Chicago man will bike Spain’s 500-mile Camino de Santiago to raise funds for his Catholic parish.

Proof bicyclists are tough — a Chicago cyclist rode to the hospital after realizing he’d been shot in the leg.

A bicyclist was killed riding in the traffic lane on a Minneapolis freeway, while three other cyclists have received warnings for riding on local freeways since June. It’s illegal to ride on most freeways there, just as it is here.

An Ohio mother pleads for drivers to be more careful after her adult son was killed while on a group ride last week.

The Cleveland traffic engineer behind the bike lanes — yes, more than one — with the buffer on the wrong side swears the design is the best practice to prevent right hooks, even though it runs counter to recommendations from the Federal Highway Administration and the NACTO design guide.

Lynchburg KY demonstrates that bike racks can double as public art.

A Philadelphia writer calls out dangerous cyclists on local pathways, while acknowledging that most riders are sensible and bicycling benefits the community. On the other hand, seven mph is a ridiculously low speed limit, and assumes every bicyclist knows how fast he’s going. Or slow, in this case.

The White House, Fox News and the tech community are mourning the death of Jake Brewer, a senior policy advisor to U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, and husband of Fox News personality Mary Ham. Brewer was killed on a charity ride over the weekend when he lost control on a sharp curve, crossed the centerline, and was hit by a car coming in the opposite direction. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the news.



Despite the odds, Cuban cyclists and bike mechanics are rebuilding the county’s bike culture.

After police amazingly concluded a bike riding, cross-dressing British spy died when he somehow zipped himself into a duffel bag and padlocked it from the inside as part of a sex game, a forensic investigator more logically deduces that he was murdered, and that he dressed as a woman as part of his spycraft.

Bike Radar looks at why more women don’t work at bike shops.

Britain’s Transport Committee will look into police bias against cyclists. Intentional or not, police bias against bike riders is a problem virtually everywhere, and can adversely affect ticketing and investigations of wrecks involving bicyclists.

More proof cyclists are tough. A Brit bicyclist is putting off potentially life-saving surgery to compete in next year’s Rio Olympics; only eight millimeters of his spinal cord remain unaffected by a cancer tumor.

Now that’s a fixie. The Guardian talks with cyclist who rode the full length of the UK on a Penny Farthing in just 15 days.

Riding through three European countries on bikeways along the Bodensee.



Caught on video: This is what it looks like to pull a major endo after hitting a pothole. Seriously, if you don’t bother to lock up your bike, don’t blame the police when it’s gone.

And if you’re hiding a stolen car at your home after assaulting the owner to steal it, try not to get liquored up and shoot at a group of cyclists.


Thanks to Eric Lewis for his generous donation to support BikinginLA.

Just $10 a year from everyone who visits here today would fund this site for a full year.

Morning Links: Protect your bike on Metro buses, motorists behaving badly, and more kindhearted people

Keep a close eye on you bike when you use those racks on the front of a bus.

That was the gist of an email I received Thursday evening, from someone who reported having his bike stolen while commuting home from work.

Fortunately it was not my favorite cyclocross bike but rather a Specialized Rock Hopper that’s about 15 years old and that I was thinking about replacing.  I ride buses a lot and I read the story of the fellow whose bike was stolen from rack while he was sitting in the back of the bus. So I sit in the front and I watch my bike at the stops.  In retrospect I realized that I mainly watch when it is the only bike up there, for anyone who is going up to the front that shouldn’t be there.  But this guy was a very clever thief who had a beater bike on the rack in front of mine. So even though I was watching my bike at the stop it didn’t occur to me that the guy in the front was undoing the bike catch to my bike and not his bike until it was too late.  I can tell you that watching doesn’t do much good when all it takes a few seconds to take the bike off, mount it and take off riding.  By the time I grabbed my backpack and my pannier and got past the people coming in the front door, it was too late.  And what would I have done anyway, taken him down with a running tackle?  My only option was to take the beater bike which he left.

I have been paranoid in regards public transportation — I sit near my bike on the MetroLink even if that means sitting on the floor or standing and I lock my bike on Amtrak because there are only about six seats down in the bike area and they are reserved for disabled.

But I can’t lock my bike to the Metro bike rack so instead I decided that I’m going to lock my rear wheel to the frame before I put it on the rack.  So if someone decides to take it they aren’t going to be able to ride it away.

That last bit is good advice.

Many bus drivers keep an eye on the bikes in front of them, but they can’t watch them all the time. And not every driver does.

So anything you can do to disable your bike to keep a thief from being able to easily ride or roll off with it could be enough to protect your bike from being stolen.

After all, it’s a lot harder to pick up a bike and run with it than it is to simply ride away.


Today’s common theme: Motorists behaving badly.

San Diego police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who rear-ended an experienced cyclist Thursday morning; she nearly lost a foot in the collision.

A Chicago woman faces felony drunk driving charges after drinking all day and running into an eight-year old boy as he rode his bike; she also had an open container in the car.

Unbelievable. Five Ohio cyclists were left crossed when the driver of pickup turned into them as they rode in a group; one rider died at the scene and two were airlifted to a hospital.

A New Jersey driver faces up to 20 years in prison if he’s convicted of first degree vehicular homicide and other assorted charges in the drunken hit-and-run death of a bike rider. To make matters worse, he 1) told police he thought he hit a deer, 2) told police he wasn’t the driver of the car, 3) refused to give a urine sample without a warrant, and 4) had been driving on a suspended license since 2007.

A South Carolina driver faces charges for driving with a suspended license and operating an uninsured motor vehicle. But the cyclist he killed? No big deal.

A road-raging English driver is charged with intentionally chasing down and ramming a bicyclist, all because the cyclist touched the man’s car to steady himself at a red light. The driver claimed the victim had swerved into his car, which was disproven by security cam footage.

A Helsinki driver faces up to eight years for deliberately running down and killing a cyclist in a road rage incident.

And how distracted does a driver have to be to miss — or rather, not miss — a camel walking on the side of a road in Southern California?

Then again, it’s not just motorists; Scotland police are looking for a cyclist who whacked a schoolboy in the head with his bike lock.


Thankfully, we can counter that with a few stories of people at their best.

Minutes after big-hearted Kansas City police take a report of a stolen kids’ bike, they come back with a new one to replace it.

The owners of a Michigan Pizza Parlor gave a new bike to an autistic employee after his was stolen while he was at a movie to celebrate his first paycheck.

A NASA engineer in Huntsville AL fixes bikes for neighborhood kids and gives away refurbished ones, along with life lessons for the young riders.


For reasons known only to them, Cleveland is redefining buffered bike lanes, apparently choosing to protect cyclists from riding too close to the curb while moving them next to the far more dangerous traffic to the left.

Photo by Angie Schmitt

Photo by Angie Schmitt


A couple quick notes from this week’s Interbike in Las Vegas.

Credit Jay Wolff of the Santa Monica Helen’s Cycles with bringing the stars of Breaking Away back together.

In light of the Interbike sockgate scandal, Bike Radar lists five of the bike industry’s most sexist marketing fails. Of course, these are just from the last few years; bike marketing has been a boy’s club for decades. And they wonder why more women don’t ride.

And what could be a more natural product extension for a multi-sport clothing maker to roll out than a new reposado tequila?



Mad Men producer Tom Smuts will once again be riding his bike to the Emmys this Sunday, along with actors Aaron Eckhart and Jon Huertas, and producers Alex Cary and James Younger. City officials including councilmember Tom Bonin will tag along.

Streetsblog offers an update on Metro’s planned bikeshare system, which remains on track for a sponsorless mid-2016 opening.

A writer for USC’s Daily Trojan badly misunderstands and misrepresents LA’s new mobility plan; the plan is actually designed to reduce congestion by providing alternatives to driving. Evidently, she’s learned the wrong lesson from modern American politics, that facts don’t matter as long as they’re labeled opinion.

The LA Weekly’s Hillel Aron tries to ride the full length of the LA River. Even in two parts — the ride, not the story — it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Santa Monica is nearing completion of the new Colorado Esplanade connecting the terminus of the Expo Line with the Santa Monica Pier, including a two-way separated bike path.

The 29th annual Nautica Malibu Triathlon rolls, runs and splashes through the city this weekend.



The OC Register astutely observes that even adults need to know how to ride a bike.

San Diego strawberries may end up costing a little more, but residents will be rewarded with a new rail bike and ride.

A San Luis Obispo man gives a whole new meaning to the term custom bike maker.

San Francisco posts banners to encourage drivers to slow down. Might as well, since nothing else seems to work.



New census data shows that bike commuting continues to grow in the US. The findings are even more impressive since census data undercounts transportation cycling by failing to including multi-modal or non-work related trips.

Tern and Xtracycle team up for a cargo foldie; a Kickstarter to fund it is just over halfway to the $60,000 goal with 29 days to go.

El Paso is the latest city to get bikeshare before Los Angeles.

Thousands of bike riders tear through the Motor City with Slow Roll Detroit at breakneck speeds up to 10 mph.

No bias here. A Connecticut newspaper says a 10-year old girl was critically injured when she hit a car while riding her bike, then later explains that the car actually struck her.

New York’s mayor is taking credit for a 13% drop in traffic deaths in his first year in office. Even though the bike lanes, road diets and other changes to the streets that most likely led to it were done under the previous administration.

Now there’s a new excuse. Bike-friendly improvements to a New York street have been put off until the UN adjourns and the pope puts the city in his rear view mirror.

Police in New York’s Upper West Side credit a 40% decrease in injuries to a 160% increase in cyclist traffic tickets.



Yes, longer bike shorts really are more aero. And no, you’re probably not fast enough for it to make a difference.

A Swedish couple bicycling around the world was hit by a car in Brazil. The driver, who was going 12 mph over the speed limit, will face a manslaughter charge after the woman rider didn’t make it.

Vancouver police realize they had already impounded the bike that had been stolen from a Taiwanese cyclist on an around-the-world ride after a reporter called to ask about it.

An 18-year old London man was convicted of stabbing a 15-year old boy to death in an utterly senseless attack to steal his bicycle.

Nice. Employees can ride their bike directly into a new London office building and down a ramp to the basement, where they’ll find bike parking, changing rooms and lockers.

Dubai has made a big push to become bike friendly with a network of bicycle paths, cycle tracks and bike lanes across the emirate.

Aussie cyclists may finally be able to legally stand on their pedals.

Bangkok, Thailand goes car-free this Sunday, though the city still has a long way to go to make bicycling an everyday choice for people.



Caught on video: Wherever you’ve ridden, it probably doesn’t compare to a 59-foot slack line over a 367-foot gorge. If you’re going to steal $120 worth of coffee from a donut shop, don’t go back there a few days later riding the same distinctive bike, and leave the heroin and drug paraphernalia at home while you’re at it.

And drivers already act like you’re wearing a cloak of invisibility on your bike. So why not do it for real?


Morning Links: Avoiding bike/car collisions, too much bike theft news, and new bike coffee shop in DTLA

Let’s see what you have to say.

I was forwarded a link to this website on how to avoid the 12 most common types of bicycle/vehicle accidents by one of the people who helped create it.

While it has some good advice, a few things jumped out at me. Like use of the term “accident,” for instance. And the stat saying 75% of collisions at controlled intersections are caused by bike riders going through stop signs.

Which sounds like the sort of victim blaming the CHP loves to indulge in. And makes me wonder just where they got their stats, since it’s not credited on the site.

But before I offer my opinion, I want to know what you think.

Just leave your thoughts in the comments below, and I’ll forward them to the person who sent it to me.


Too much bike theft news today.

Bikes continue to disappear in DTLA, with six stolen in one recent week, including two from the Downtown library.

Santa Rosa police bust three bike rustlers with a bait bike.

After a Duluth boy’s bike was stolen off his porch, his mom tracks it down. And in the processes, uncovers a bicycle chop shop with 20 other stolen bikes.

A Dallas mom posts a hand-written notice saying some low-life made her seven-year old daughter cry by stealing her new bike.

A North Carolina writer offers advice on how not to get your bike stolen.

And it’s nice to have a big heart, and want to replace a kid’s stolen bike. But first, make sure you’re in the same town, and not another one with the same name 800 miles away.


Chris Froome cracks following a crash on one of the toughest stages ever to grace a world tour, while Astana’s Mikel Landa takes the stage and Fabio Aru slips on the Vuelta leader’s jersey. And yet another rider is knocked out of the race by a collision with a motorbike.



Fascinating OpEd from a former New York traffic commissioner and engineer on LA’s new Mobility Plan, saying accessibility trumps mobility and increased congestion can be a good thing.

Flying Pigeon’s Rick Risemberg says the tide appears to be turning against CD1 Councilmember “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo, who is up for re-election in 2017.

Streetsblog says the promised community outreach is lacking on some of the city’s Great Streets, while Cesar Chavez Ave in Boyle Heights appears to be a test case for Vision Zero.

KPCC looks at the UCSF study saying hospital admissions due to bicycling injuries more than doubled over a 15 year period. Here’s my thoughts, in case you missed it yesterday.

A new bike shop/vintage-inspired hangout/specialty coffee destination called The Wheelhouse will be opening soon on 6th Street in DTLA’s Arts District.



A coalition calls on the state legislature to provide $600 million a year in transit funding, as well as making it safer and easier to bike and walk to transit.

Sorry, Orange County. No 2024 Olympic bike races for you.

Nice. An annual OC Bike Camp teaches children with disabilities how to ride bikes.

A cyclist suffered minor injuries in a left cross collision in Newport Beach Wednesday morning.

A 47-year old cyclist was killed while riding salmon in Modesto Wednesday evening, the second bicycling fatality in the city this week.

A writer for the SF Chronicle says Critical Mass is dying of self-inflicted wounds, in the city where it started but may not be needed anymore. Than again, it wasn’t his song that was playing in the background during the U-lock car bashing.

Turns out you don’t have to risk your life on busy highways to do a wine tour by bike; you can tour wineries in the Russian River Valley on a 5-1/2 mile off-road pathway.



Maybe a car isn’t the best place to raise your kids after all.

MTV discovers the art of artistic cycling.

A Washington man faces vehicular homicide and hit-and-run charges after running down a cyclist as she rode on the shoulder of a highway.

Colorado’s DOT quickly shelves a tasteless, victim-blaming pedestrian safety campaign.

Taking a page from LA’s playbook, Cheyenne WY paints new bike lanes, but doesn’t bother to fix the cracks and potholes first.

A Montana writer comes across a tense confrontation after two men in a Jeep threaten a pair of cyclists.

A Chicago writer applauds bike riders for taking cars off the roads. She just doesn’t want bikes on them, either. Or bike lanes. And thinks cyclists should all pass a test and carry a license plate because she’s quite sure none ever stop for traffic signals.

Like the writer above, readers of New York’s Daily News seem convinced bike riders are the problem. Because it can’t be the people in the big dangerous machines that kill over 30,000 people a year in the US, right?

A New Jersey man faces up to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to vehicular homicide in the hit-and-run death of a bicyclist; he faces a murder charge in another case.

Newark NJ parents are peeved that police have suddenly begun enforcing the city’s bike registration law. The LA city council repealed a similar law several years back after police used it as a pretext to stop, search and ticket bike riders.

The Baltimore Orioles honor Cal Ripken, Jr. for his 2,131 consecutive game streak, a day after he pulled an endo while riding his bike.



Former Calgary Flames pro hockey player Cory Sarich is looking for work 14 months after a horrific collision with a truck while riding his bike.

British advocates question why safety improvements made to London trucks to protect bicyclists shouldn’t be applied everywhere else. Good question.

London’s bike seat-melting office tower has been named Britain’s worst building for 2015.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d steal a bike rider’s lights and wallet while he lay unconscious in the street after crashing his bike.

Dubai is planning the world’s largest indoor bike park, with nearly 9,000 square feet of trails, obstacles and walls built from recycled materials.



Your next taillight could flash multi-colors and call for help in an emergency. Cycling caps move from hipster fashion statement to haute couture on the catwalk. Full disclosure, I own three myself; I don’t know if that makes me a hipster or a fashion model.

And a new British e-bike appears to be a 20 mph cross between a recumbent and an egg.


Weekend Links: LA bike thieves caught on video, and volunteer for September’s LACBC bike/ped count

Sometimes, even bike thieves get caught on video.

The LAPD has issued a BOLO alert for a ring of bike thieves captured on security camera stealing bikes from an apartment complex at La Brea and Wilshire.

The group of two Hispanic men and a blonde woman act carefully to avoid detection, first casing the underground parking lot, then coming back with bolt cutters to cut the locks, and returning a third time to walk out with the bikes.

Anyone with information is urged to call Wilshire Area Burglary Detectives Officer Noble at 213/922-8253.

And on a related subject, the Spoke N’ Wheel Bicycle Shop in West Hills had a distinctive mountain bike stolen in a break-in this week, so be on the lookout. This one should be easy to spot. Thanks to Rex Reese for the heads-up.


The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is looking for volunteers for September’s bike and pedestrian count.

Yes, this should be the city’s job. But since they don’t do it, the LACBC’s count is the only way we have to know whether more people are riding bikes, and where they’re riding in the City of Angels.


Colorado native Taylor Phinney will make his second start after returning from catastrophic injuries at next week’s USA Pro Challenge; last year’s champ Teejay van Garderen will ride the Vuelta, instead. Phinney’s return to race in his home state is remarkable, given that doctors said he’d never ride again.

A new women’s world tour is taking shape, based on the current men’s tour. Hopefully, with less doping and more integrity.



City Lab’s Sarah Goodyear says the new Mobility Plan is another sign it’s not the old LA anymore, even if some don’t seem to get it.

Streetsblog gives Eric Garcetti a B- for his work on livable streets since becoming mayor, with a C+ on bicycling issues. Not sure I’d rate him that high after his disappearing act on Westwood Blvd, North Figueroa, Mt. Hollywood Drive and the Glendale-Figueroa bridge.

A writer for Bike Walk Burbank says crashes aren’t accidents, and neither is traffic enforcement.

The Argonaut talks with CicLAvia founder Aaron Paley, who says it’s not about bikes, it’s about reclaiming public space. Then again, so is the new Mobility Plan.

The Culver City Bicycle Coalition wants your help to clean up the Ballona Creek bike path on September 19th as part of the Coastal Cleanup Day.



The battle over bikeshare at San Diego’s Pacific Beach goes on.

A new Pleasanton green lane aims to improve safety along the “Valley of Death.”

The San Francisco police captain behind the hugely unpopular crackdown on law-breaking cyclists explains his evolving priorities.



A writer for HuffPo suggests 19 reasons why bicycling is the best exercise. Many of those reasons focus on bikes as transportation, rather than simply exercise. Which is the real beauty of bikes, since they can serve as transport, exercise and recreation — often all at once.

An Indian website profiles the Marine vet who is riding a handcycle across the US after losing both legs in Afghanistan.

“Magic dirt” is turning Helena MT into a destination for mountain bikers.

A man stops in Kansas as part of a nationwide bike tour after beating cancer twice.

Now this is a protected bike lane, as the state of Illinois installs a curb-protected lane in response to the death of a Chicago cyclist. That is what should happen with every bike and pedestrian death — first determine why it happened, then fix the street so it won’t happen again.

A Boston reporter writes about his alternately thrilling and perilous bike commute.

New York pedestrians and bike riders advocate for a safer route through a bike-desert in Queens. And another bike lane planned for Amsterdam Ave survives opposition for now.

A North Carolina driver had meth and heroin in his system when he went across multiple lanes of traffic to hit a cyclist head-on.

An Athens GA cyclist receives an $850,000 settlement after being hit by a man pulling out of his driveway while she was riding to work.

Louisiana has the third highest rate of bicycling fatalities, behind Florida and Delaware. The rate reflects the number of deaths per 100,000 residents.



A writer for the Guardian takes the new $15,000 Jaguar-designed Pinarello out for a spin on British roads.

Britain’s Green Party calls for adoption of a European version of the Idaho Stop Law.

A Helsinki, Finland driver is under arrest for deliberately running down and killing a bike rider, then fleeing the scene.

An Aussie cyclist appeals a $1.7 million judgment for crashing into his riding partner after he hit a wooden stake in the bike lane. Seems like whoever was responsible for maintaining the bike lane should be held at fault, instead.



Denver drivers rant about “idiot drivers” in the fast lane, neglecting to consider that the speed limit is the maximum allowed, rather than mandatory. If you’re going to ride off with an $1,800 bike from a New Orleans bike shop, it’s probably best not to leave your own invalid credit card as security.

And we only have to worry about dodging LA drivers; Brit bicyclists have to avoid ramming sheep.


Morning Links: An early endorsement for state senate, registration gets bikes back, and OCTA swims upstream

Getting a jump on next year’s elections, the Speaker of the California Assembly has endorsed former representative Steven Bradford for the state senate in next year’s elections.

Toni Adkins joins former LA mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, state Senator Robert Hertzberg and Speaker Emeritus John A. Pérez in endorsing Bradford.

And me, too.

Bradford is a bicyclist himself, and has worked in the legislature to improve safety for cyclists. Including sponsoring the first two attempts at passing a stronger version of the new three-foot passing law, which cleared the legislature before being vetoed by Gov. Brown.

It’s early in the game. But Steven Bradford has my unqualified support, having already proven himself to be an effective legislator.

And one of the good guys.


This is why I keep pushing the Bike Index bicycle registration and stolen bike reporting available at the top of this page.

In just the last two weeks, the site has helped 11 stolen bikes find their way back home to their owners.

It’s free, period. To register, report a theft, or check a bike against the list of ones reported stolen in the area.

And it could make all the difference if someone makes off with yours.


Just a week before the Tour de France, Mark Cavendish hurts his shoulder when it’s whacked with a camera by a too-close fan. Victory could be in the cards for Aussie rider Nathan Haas — literally — while Chris Froome risks being upstaged by his cat.


London’s Mail looks at how to get away with doping these days. Although that may not be necessary, if you can just get a support vehicle to follow you; a new study says that can be enough to affect the outcome of a race.

And writer for ESPN says women’s sports are boring and not worth watching; not surprisingly, women’s cyclists disagree. As does anyone who has watched women’s cycling for more than five minutes, or plans to watch the US take on Germany in today’s Women’s World Cup match.



Ding dong, LaBonge is gone. LA’s most outgoing cheerleader led summer bike rides, but blocked planned bikeways on Lankershim Blvd, as well as 4th and 6th Streets, and was a driving force behind the unsafe and pedestrian-unfriendly design recently adopted for the new Glendale-Hyperion Bridge.

A writer for the Daily Bruin calls for a Westwood bikeshare hub to give students greater access to LA. Although they will still need safe places to ride.

CiclaValley looks at Sunday’s successful LA River Ride. I had planned to be there myself, but my health issues knocked me on my ass all day.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Richard McKinnon of Safe Streets Santa Monica about bringing data to street safety discussions. His group mapped 9,600 collisions over a 10-year period, and discovered less than fifty caused by cyclists.

Police bust a bike riding burglar perusing potentially purloin-able property in a subterranean SaMo garage.



A San Diego bike rider suffered minor injuries after he’s accused of running a red light in an early morning crash. The question is whether anyone other than the driver who hit him actually saw the victim go through the light. Because no driver would have an incentive to twist the facts, or anything.

A Santa Cruz cyclist really goes the extra mile — or more like a marathon — by riding back and getting his car to drive an injured bike-riding stranger to his home. Then replacing the man’s fluorescent lights and fixing his faucet and electric switches, as well as buying and mounting a new tire for his bike.

A San Francisco cyclist is on a one-woman mission to stop drivers from double parking in bike lanes. Maybe she could come down here next.

Bagdad by the Bay has become Bicyclists by the Bay, to the detriment of those poor, put upon drivers according one SF writer.

Streetsblog asks if a new bike lane in Orinda is the worst bike lane in the world; the lane directs bike riders to go straight between two right turn lanes, almost guaranteeing a high-speed right hook.

Remarkably, two mountain bikers are relatively okay after plunging 150 feet off a Marin County trail in separate incidents nearly seven hours apart, yet somehow landing in the same spot.



City Lab offers advice on how to hold onto your bike seat. And they take a look at that device developed by Chatanooga police to catch drivers violating the three-foot passing law.

A new bill in Congress would require the DOT to research new technology to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Las Vegas is fighting an epidemic of bicycling fatalities, with seven deaths this year compared to just one last year; four of those have been hit-and-runs. The story advises bicyclists to stay safe by walking across crosswalks, but has anyone ever done a study to determine if that really reduces risk?

Nice piece from Wichita KN, as cyclists surprise a riding buddy who suffered a massive stroke with a custom-made three-wheel ‘bent to get him back on the road. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

LA’s own Swrve is among the bike brands sponsoring musician Ben Weaver’s planned tour around Lake Superior next month.

A Connecticut driver faces a negligent homicide charge after left crossing a cyclist, even though the driver said he never saw him. Although the cops suspect the cyclist may have been speeding, based on nothing but speculation.

A new Delaware bill would encourage transit-friendly, walkable and bikeable economic development.

Boston may be the first proposed Olympic site without a velodrome, since no one seems to want it.

Athletes fight in every sport. But when bicyclists do it at the end of an Massachusetts race, it somehow becomes news.

As Philadelphia has become more bike friendly, surrounding counties have fallen behind.

New York’s Central Park goes partially car-free. Parks are for people, not cars — a lesson the people running Griffith Park still need to learn.

A New York cyclist shoots a TV quiz show, which could go national, from the seat of his bike.

New Orleans plans to narrow the massive neutral ground — aka median, to everyone else — on the city’s Napoleon Ave to make room for a walking path and bike lanes.



Two cyclists are competing against themselves and each other, riding a combined 150,000 miles in an attempt to break the year record.

An Ottawa writer gets it, saying there’s so much more to bike safety than just wearing a helmet. Note to Metro News: When you show a photo of a bike helmet, a caption saying it’s a bike helmet really isn’t necessary.

A handful of Canadian cities are building protected bike lanes; Montreal leads Saskatoon by 184 km to one.

The owners of a British trucking firm are banned from the business after an unlicensed and uninsured driver killed a cyclist while driving one of their trucks. Too bad we can’t hold business owners accountable like that over here.

A Brit bike rider is convicted of using “racially aggressive language” when a security guard tried to stop him from riding in a mall.

Bicycling could be the answer to providing care givers in rural areas in the UK.

France bans hands-free cell phone headsets, while Paris is making the massive roundabouts at seven major intersections safer for cyclists.

Burundi’s president may be controversial, but at least he bikes the vote. Even if his wife, soldiers and bodyguards had to walk behind him.

Injuries and fatalities blamed on Japanese bike riders have fallen dramatically, but authorities are cracking down on riders because the ratio of fatalities blamed on bicyclists has gone up. So it’s now illegal to hold an umbrella while you ride.

Instead of trying to make a car with two wheels, why not just build a better Korean e-bike?



Why let facts get in the way, as Donald Trump evidently doesn’t understand the difference between a bike race and a bike ride, even though he used to sponsor one; the former, not the latter. A writer from my home state says bike lanes, potholes and marijuana are all part of a plot to force his city to go car-free; someone should tell him bikes need decent pavement, too.

And a seriously strange video from the Orange County Transportation Authority says don’t be a salmon.


LA bike rider attacked with machete, bad news from Hemet, plus Bicycle Coffee and pleasant private bike cops

In one of the most horrifying attacks in recent memory, a Los Angeles man may have kept his bike, but lost one of his thumbs.

And nearly his life.

According to multiple sources, a 43-year old man was walking — or possibly riding — his bicycle near the intersection of West 12th Street and South Burlington Avenue around 12:30 am Sunday, when he was attacked by four men who tried to steal his bike and wallet.

One of them hacked at him with a two-foot machete, resulting in a severe cuts to both arms, as well as a fractured skull, in addition to having his left thumb cut off; early reports suggest he was likely to lose his right hand, as well.

Despite his injuries, he somehow managed to run a few blocks to get help; at last report, he was hospitalized in critical condition. However, he was able to keep both his bike and his money.

The attackers were described only as young adult men, possibly 18 – 21 years old, who fled in a green four-door sedan. According to police, the attack did not appear to be gang related.

For some reason, the victim was initially described as an 18-year old man before police corrected the report.

Let’s hope he recovers quickly, and that police catch his attackers.

And let this be a reminder that no bike is worth your life.


Brace yourself for bad news.

A man was found dead on Hemet biking trail on Sunday, hours after a 33-year old mountain biker was reported missing.

The victim has not been identified yet, and here’s no confirmation yet that it’s the missing cyclist. But it doesn’t look good.

Hopefully, we’ll learn more soon.

Update: Authorities have identified the man found dead as 33-year old Hemet resident Shane Gainer, but for some reason, won’t confirm if he is the missing cyclist. No cause of death has been determined. 


Bicycle-Coffee-1Now let’s switch to a happier subject.

On Sunday, my wife and I made a short trip to the Hollywood Farmer’s Market at Ivar and Selma, just a few blocks from the Hollywood and Vine Metro station.

Sans bikes, since she doesn’t ride. And without the Corgi, since even well-behaved dogs aren’t allowed under LA County health rules.

The purpose of our journey was to find the elusive Bicycle Coffee Company.

Elusive, because the LA branch at Santa Monica and Western is only open Friday though Sunday. And despite our best efforts, we hadn’t been able to get there when the doors were open.

Bicycle-Coffee-3On the other hand, we knew they were at the farmer’s market every Sunday, just a short subway ride way from our apartment.

It took some searching to find their Nishiki-towed bicycle cart — yes, there’s a reason for their name — hidden back behind the other vendors near the Arclight, nee Cinerama, Theater, and just in front of Umami Burgers.

We left with a couple bags of what is reputed to be some of the area’s best coffee, each accompanied by a free cup of joe with purchase.

And the knowledge that next time, we can just order our beans and they’ll deliver by bike within a roughly 10-mile radius.


On the way out, I stopped to admire a bike belonging to one of the security guards with the BID Patrol at the farmer’s market.

Rosales-1And found myself talking with retired LAPD officer and dedicated cyclist Jim Rosales, who was happy to point out the 29” wheels and disc brakes, as well as the rear rack for the panniers he usually uses but decided to leave at home that day.

We talked about his volunteer work patrolling the Santa Monica mountains, the road bike he rides in his spare time, and the fixie he’s currently building. As well as his favorite bike shops, including the Performance Bike his brother-in-law wrenches for in Pasadena.

Kanagi-bikeAll in all, a pleasant talk with another rider. And one more example of a conversation that would never have happened behind the wheel.

Then just as we were about to leave, I noticed the pink handgrips on his partner’s bike. So he called her over, and fellow BID security officer Cortney Kanagi was happy to show us her matching pink handcuffs and the pink grip on her handgun.

Proof that you can be feminine while riding a bike.

Or subduing a suspect.


LA County DA rules Gardena police were justified to shoot and kill the unarmed brother of a bike theft victim

Finally, we know what really happened.

Or not.

In July of 2013, two men were shot by Gardena police responding to the theft of a bicycle.

Except they didn’t kill a dangerous bike thief and wound his partner in crime.

The man they mistakenly killed was the brother of the man whose bike was stolen. He was just trying to tell the officers that the men they had stopped weren’t vicious thieves, but were actually helping to look for the missing bike.

Unfortunately, the three officers didn’t seem to understand Ricardo Diaz Zeferino’s Spanish, even though customers at a nearby restaurant could clearly make out what he was saying. And he didn’t seem to understand the cops commands to stop.

Now the DA’s office has ruled that they acted within the law in shooting the unarmed man eight times — including twice in the back.

The same with what they say was the unintentional shooting of his similarly innocent friend, who was also shot in the back.

The DA’s decision was based on dash cam video, which apparently captured the whole thing. It reportedly showed Diaz Zeferino reaching into his pockets to toss unidentified items to the ground, then taking off his baseball cap, despite orders to stop. The officers opened fire when he started to raise his hands again.

The cops couldn’t see his right hand, according to the Deputy DA who reviewed the video, and believed he was going to reach for a weapon.

A weapon that didn’t exist.

Not that that inconvenient fact seems to matter to anyone.

Not surprisingly, the attorneys for the victims reached a different conclusion, arguing that the video showed the police gave confusing orders, and that Diaz Zeferino’s right hand was empty and in front of his body when they opened fire. And that the other victim, Acevedo Mendez, was shot despite keeping his hands over his head the whole time.

Unfortunately, we’ll never know which version is true, since the Gardena Police Department has refused to make the video public.

Although they did allow the cops to view the video before making their statements so they could get their stories straight.

On the other hand, whatever the video showed, it was enough to convince the city of Gardena to settle a civil rights lawsuit over the shooting for $4.7 million. Not that any amount of money will do Diaz Zeferino a lot of good.

According to the DA’s report, the toxicology report showed he had meth and alcohol in his system. Which is no more relevant to the case than whether he was wearing a bike helmet.

The three officers who opened fire are still on active patrol duty nearly two years after the shooting; the department’s internal review over the shooting was on hold until the civil case was resolved, which happened earlier this week.

The outcome of that review is something else we’ll never know about; any disciplinary action will be confidential under California law.

This is the second time this year the DA has refused to prosecute cops who killed someone in a bike-related case. And the second time that disciplinary action, if any, will be a deep, dark secret known only to the officers involved.

So if your bike is ever stolen in Gardena, maybe you’re better off just letting it go. Those cops could still be out there, ready to shoot at the drop of a hat.


And whatever happens, don’t count on the LA County DA’s office to do a damn thing about it.


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