Tag Archive for bike theft

BOLO Alert — bike stolen in front of HMS Bounty in Koreatown

Kapoor Stolen Bike

This is the bike that was stolen.

Sometimes even a U-lock isn’t enough.

The LAPD recently reported that bike theft is one of the few crimes that continues to increase in the face of falling crime rates in Los Angeles — as much as 200% in some areas in recent years.

Something Daveed Kapoor found out the hard way, despite doing everything right to secure his bike.

I’ll let him tell the story.

Monday night at 6:30pm I locked my bike to the LADOT inverted U-rack on Wilshire just west of Kenmore, as indicated in the photo. It was dark but in front of the Gaylord Apts entrance with fair amount of foot traffic, didn’t seem risky at all. I used my Kryptonite Evolution U-lock locked through the frame and rear wheel. This is my everyday city bike that I use to get everywhere all over LA.  For 3 years I’ve been u-locking it on Central LA streets and never had a problem. I weigh 210 pounds, I kept breaking my wheels so a couple years ago I bought Aerospoke wheels, which are super heavy but don’t need to be trued. The wheels are attractive to thieves, so I use Pitlock locking skewers, which take are very theft proof, but can be removed using vice grips or a hammer and a wedge, and a lot of time. But in 3 years biking in LA almost every day I have never had a problem before.

When I came out of the Bounty two hours later at 8:30 pm, all that was left was my sawed-through U-lock in two pieces. Looks like a clean cut, I suspect they used an angle grinder. I’m guessing it was one of these van bike theft units that parks the van in front of the bike, cuts the lock off and quickly throws the bike in the van. But who knows…

Where the bike was stolen; even a busy, well-lit street isn't always enough.

Where the bike was stolen; even a busy, well-lit street isn’t always enough.

He offers a good description of the bike and accessories, which should make it easy to identify if the thief tries to sell it intact or brings it into a bike shop.

  • Bike was black 2010 GT Tachyon 3.0, 24 speed
  • Pitlock Skewers
  • Schwalbe Marathon Tires
  • Black Aerospoke Wheels
  • ISM Adamo Race Saddle
  • Rear Rack w/ Linus ‘Sac’ Saddle Bag – with Black Fiji Sweater + Oakley Clear Industrial M Frame
  • Glasses inside the bag
  • 2 Gotham Industries Defender Bike Lights locked to the handlebar
  • Light & Motion Vis 180 Rear Light
  • Green Giro Hex Helmet was locked thru the U lock, taken as well

Kapoor estimates the total value of the bike and accessories as around $2000, making the crime Grand Theft. And he notes that police were very polite and took the crime seriously when he filed his report, something that doesn’t always happen.

If you see the bike or find it listed for sale, call the LAPD at 877/ASK-LAPD (877/275-5273). Or if you see a bike theft in progress, call 911.

Meanwhile, the LAPD and local cycling organization CICLE offer advise on how to protect your bike from theft.

And homeowner’s and renter’s will usually cover your bike in the event of theft, even when you’re away from home. So check with your agent and make sure you’re covered — and that your deductible is low enough to to make it worth filing a claim if your bike is stolen.

Because as this case shows, you can do everything right and still lose your bike to a determined thief.

 

BOLO Alert: White 2009 LeMond Reno stolen off Metro 222 bus in Hollywood

Just got word that a bike was stolen off a Metro bus on Hollywood Boulevard Wednesday night.

Stolen Lam LeMond

I’ll let the bike’s owner, popular LA cyclist Johnny Lam, describe what happened.

It was stolen off the 222 Metro bus line heading Eastbound on Hollywood Blvd at 8:40PM.  The theif lifted it off at the bus stop on Ivar Ave and Hollywood Blvd and rode southbound on Ivar Ave.  By the time I saw it happen, I could only see that he was wearing a backwards baseball cap and was pedaling away with my bike around the corner.  The bus driver was honking and people on the bus was yelling, “the bike”.

It was a 2009 Lemond Reno 51cm.  They can email me at johnny.m.lam@gmail.com or contact Detective Savedra at (323) 563-5000 at the LA Sheriffs referencing case #913-06822-6874-386.

Keep your eyes open, especially if you see a similar bike listed on Craigslist or some other online forum, or see a bike on the street that matches the description.

Let’s get this one back.

And catch the son of a bitch who stole it while we’re at it.

So what’s wrong with this picture?

Just a quick note.

I saw this bike locked to a post at Venice Beach Monday afternoon. Somehow, it doesn’t look all that secure to me.

Bad bike lock job

It took everything I had not to slide it off  that pole and put it back on the next one.

Wonder if the owner would have gotten the hint?

Important LAPD meeting next week for anyone who lives or rides through the San Fernando Valley

Yesterday I received the following email from Glenn Bailey, Vice-Chair of the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee. 

Dear Valley Bicyclists:

At the request of LAPD Deputy Chief Jorge Villegas, commanding officer of LAPD’s Operations-Valley Bureau, an important meeting with Valley bicyclists to discuss and improve the handling of:

  •       traffic enforcement to ensure cyclist safety
  •       hit and run collisions/crimes
  •       bicycle thefts
  •       improving safety on the Orange Line and other bicycle paths in the Valley
  •       safety education for motorists and cyclists
  •       and other topics of interest to bicyclists

The LAPD Valley Traffic Division will be participating and the County Sheriff (Metro Orange Line enforcement) has been invited as well.

You are cordially to invited to attend:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
LAPD Van Nuys Division
6240 Sylmar Avenue
Van Nuys, CA 91401

So that there is adequate seating and copies of handouts, please RSVP via email to glennbaileysfv@yahoo.com if you are attending OR may be attending. Also, if you have additional topics you wish to be considered for this or a subsequent meeting, please forward those as well.

I encourage you to forward this invitation to other interested Valley cyclists.

Hope to see you there.

Thank you.

Glenn Bailey, Vice-Chair
Bicycle Advisory Committee
City of Los Angeles

Having worked with both Bailey and Deputy Chief Villegas as part of the department’s bike task force, I can assure you this is one meeting that will definitely be worth your time.

Especially given the subject matter.

Update: Bike rider mugged on Ballona Creek bike path; Redlands driver attempts to run down cyclists

Are the Ballona badlands back?

In a crime reminiscent of the bad old days of five years ago, when bike riders were attacked in two separate assaults on the Ballona Creek Bike Path, a cyclist was mugged on the popular bikeway Friday evening.

According to a comment from Mark Neumann, a friend of his was assaulted by three men in an attempt to steal his bike.

On Friday night about 6 pm while riding home from work, a friend of mine got assaulted on his bike riding the Ballona Creek bike path in Culver City on Friday. His words: “He threw his bike into my front wheel as I was about to pass him going about 20 mph. So that dumped me straight onto my shoulder and ribs. I hopped up and the guy was starting to pull my bike away. I told him no and grabbed it back. Wasn’t thinking straight with all the adrenaline cause he pulled it back and started reaching in his pocket. But then he let go and ran off. That’s when I started to feel the injuries and that I couldn’t breathe from the ribs and punctured lung. Feeling better today but the ribs hurt like a mother. Hope to get the chest tube out tomorrow and then get home.” Three guys caused him to crash and tried to steal his bike. He has 5 broken ribs, a broken clavicle, collapsed lung and some good road rash. He is doing well at UCLA but in lots of pain and unable to move.  Be careful on this path.

Unfortunately, things like this are nothing new.

And not restricted to the Ballona bikeway.

An August, 1990 article in the LA Times reports that the Automobile Club of Southern California had warned its bike riding members to avoid Ballona Creek due to dangerous conditions there — a risk made evident when a rider was shot to death on the bike path near Marina del Rey that July.

And it was just two years ago that riders were attacked in at least four separate incidents on the Greenway Trail in Wittier, including a woman who was severely beaten before her attackers ran off without taking anything. Or, thankfully, doing anything other than beating the crap out of her.

It’s a fear that leads many riders, especially women, to avoid off-road bikeways, particularly after dark or when other riders aren’t likely to be present. And may have contributed to the hit-and-run death of Erin Galligan in Santa Monica last year, as she chose to ride through a dangerous construction area on PCH rather than take her chances on the dark, secluded beachfront bike path just a few feet away.

It’s not that bike paths are inherently dangerous. It’s the fact that assaults like this are relatively rare that makes them so shocking.

But it’s an inherent problem with virtually any off-road pathway that while they offer protection from motor vehicles, large sections of the paths are likely to be out of public view and rarely, if ever, patrolled by the police, providing a secluded location for anyone with evil intent.

In fact, in the 2008 assaults, it became clear that the LAPD didn’t even know there was a Ballona Creek bike path, let alone where it was. A problem compounded by the three separate police agencies — LAPD, Culver City PD and LA Sheriff’s Department — responsible for various sections of the bikeway.

None of whom I have ever seen patrol the pathway while riding there myself.

That lack of police protection means it’s up to you keep an eye out for dangerous situations and people or circumstances that just don’t look right. Just as it would be if you were walking or riding through a secluded alley or parking garage, or any other place where an assault could be hidden from public view.

Though how you avoid someone throwing a bike at you is beyond me.

Update: Neumann forwards another report from a friend showing the long history of violence on the bikeway, this one dating back more than 20 years.

Flashback to: Wed Nov 27, 1991 Ballona Creek bike path. Back then there was no fence between the projects and the bike path. I was attacked by a gang while riding home from my office in Beverly Hills. They pulled me off the bike. One of them cold cocked me. I took off running. They caught me. Struck me on the side of the head (with a bike helmet on – no less) with either a gun or a pipe. While on the ground that night I thoroughly believed it was going to be my last day on this planet. But, they grabbed my backpack and ran away. (They got my wallet and a Rolex.) I was in shock. I had a fractured zygomatic (temple) arch. They never caught the culprits. My doctor failed to diagnose my fracture. It healed broken. I had to have corrective surgery which resulted in an infection/abscess. More surgery. A week in Torrance Memorial on 24 hour IV antibiotics. Lost 20 pounds. Necrosis to my jaw bone. Followed up with corrective surgery and bone removal. I have permanent limited opening of my jaw. I never thought anything could rattle me but I could not walk down a street without looking over my shoulder for over a year. I refused to ride that stretch of Ballona Creek for over 15 years. I will only ride it now if I am with others. A couple of weeks after I was assaulted a guy was shot and killed on his bike in the same stretch. I knew him. He worked at that corner mini-mart up from the MB Pier (where Skechers is now). Anyhow, I hope your friend is OK. Truly.

Update 2: The victim of the assault has been identified as Manhattan Beach school board member Bill Fournell; he was released from the hospital after five days with a broken collarbone, broken ribs and punctured lungs. 

Manhattan Beach Patch places the assault at around 6 pm on July 19th, between the Higuera and Dusquesne bridges.

………

Maybe they really are out to get us.

According to multiple reports, a Redlands man is under arrest for deliberately aiming his car at number of bike riders in a string of attacks this past weekend.

Redlands police arrested 26-year old John McDonald on charges of assault with a deadly weapon after he repeatedly attempted to ram bicyclists along Sunset Drive with his Honda Civic. In at least one case, he swerved across the roadway in an effort to hit a cyclist riding in the opposite direction, forcing the rider off the road.

More frightening, police responded to similar calls throughout the weekend, including two on Sunday, suggesting that the attacks continued over at least a two-day period.

Under the circumstances, it seems like a miracle that no one was seriously injured.

Or worse.

And yet, when they finally did arrest him, McDonald was held on just a $50,000 bond. I guess trying to kill someone with your car isn’t considered all that serious unless you succeed.

Anyone with information is urged to call Redlands police at (909) 798-7681.

………

Finally, police are looking for the hit-and-run driver who plowed into a group of cyclists at the monthly San Jose Bike Party, injuring two riders and leaving one with a broken hip and skull.

Clearly, hit-and-runs are not just an LA problem.

They seem to occur with frequency wherever motor vehicles come in contact with soft and breakable flesh.

Was the brother of a Gardena bike theft victim murdered by the cops sent to help them?

Maybe those riders in Gardena are lucky they only got ticketed for blocking the lane.

It was suspicious enough when Gardena police blew away the brother of the victim — yes, victim — of a bike theft last month, because they couldn’t be bothered to let him explain that the bike-riding men they’d detained were friends who were helping to look for his brothers bike.

And yes, he said it in English, according to witnesses.

Somehow, the patrons at a nearby restaurant were able to understand Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino clearly. But the cops couldn’t seem to make it out, claiming he was shouting and gesturing before reaching towards his waistband.

So they shot him.

Eight times.

Including twice in the back.

One of those non-bike theft friends was also shot. And yes, also in the back.

Maybe they have a problem with backward shooting trick shot artists down there.

Never mind that the officers shot and killed an unarmed man. Or the recklessness they showed in opening fire just feet from of a crowded Redondo Beach Boulevard restaurant.

At best, it looks like an incredibly bad shoot by a trio of trigger happy cops. At worst, they may have murdered the brother of a petty crime victim

I cannot repeat that enough. They killed someone helping the victim of the crime.

And now those officers are back on the street after being placed on administrative leave.

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to stay the hell out of Gardena for the foreseeable future.

And whatever you do, don’t report a crime there.

Correction: An earlier draft said police had killed the victim of the bike theft, which had been my understanding. However, this story from the Daily Breeze makes it clear that the man who was killed, Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino, was the brother of the man who had his bike stolen, and was assisting in the search for the stolen bike. Thanks to Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman for the correction.

………

Meanwhile, in yet another black mark on the city’s police department — which still hasn’t been able to catch the killer of hit-and-run victim Benjamin Torres — Streetsblog’s Damien Newton writes that you shouldn’t expect justice in the case of the LAPD Sargent whose daughter is charged with killing bike-riding postal worker Jesse Dotson in a hit-and-run.

That’s because Gardena police aren’t even investigating the father, even though she was driving his car, which was later reported stolen. And oddly, discovered just blocks away from their home.

As Damien put it,

He either believes his daughter’s ridiculous story and is one of the worst investigative officers ever, or he is complicit in the scheme to report the car stolen.

Yeah, no point in investigating that.

………

Bike racer Emma Pooley says it’s long past time that women bike racers were allowed to compete equally with the men — in fact, they used to just a few decades back, both in the Tour de France and America’s late, great Red Zinger/Coors Classic.

If you agree women belong in a parallel Le Tour — let alone the Amgen Tour of California and the upcoming USA Pro Challenge — sign the petition here.

I did.

………

A new bike and pedestrian bridge over the LA River on its way to approval by the LA City Council may make a planned Glendale bridge superfluous. The county breaks ground on a new segment of LA River pathway in Studio City and Sherman Oaks. The Source is enthusiastic about bike trains. Participants in Friday’s Zócalo Public Square/Grand Park forum call for a cease fire between bicyclists and drivers. Tell that to the papers of the Los Angeles News Group, who continue to troll for bike hate, this time questioning if LA commuters will ever bike to work, in a negatively worded poll. A Pasadena bike rider suffers life threatening injuries in a head-on collision with a salmon cyclist. Boyonabike looks at cars and the environment. Ride with the mayor of Montebello next Sunday. Over 500 riders turn out for the first ever Long Beach women’s only Beach Babe Classic. A Santa Clarita cyclist suffers a broken back in a hit-and-run; the driver turned himself in four hours later, apparently at the urging of family members. The San Diego Union-Tribune endorses efforts to promote bicycling in the county. Evidently, you don’t have to be sane to have a drivers license in California, with predictable results.

Scion thinks you’re an obstacle, but they’re really, really sorry about it. Elly Blue says our roads are depreciating, too. Do bike shops just market to white males? Cycle chic is already a thing; you can’t co-opt it by adding “ing,” even if helmets really are becoming more fashionable. Five innovative ways to park a bike. Using a bike as a weapon is no different from using a car as a weapon, except for the results. Famed researcher John Pucher says it’s time for a bike renaissance in Seattle. The Boulder CO sheriff says the road rage brake check that left a leading triathlete seriously injured wasn’t. An aggressive road-raging, horn-blaring, multi-car passing Colorado driver films his own apoplectic outrage at a group of bicyclists. Turns out you can’t use your car as a weapon to run down a bike riding, cigarette-stealing Wisconsin thief, after all. Even a protected bike lane isn’t enough to protect a Chicago bike rider. Michigan police arrest a 12-year old bike riding bank robber. Thanks to our veto-wielding governor, California can’t even get a three-foot passing law; a Maine writer says three-feet isn’t enough. Lesson #1: Try not to share the same stretch of asphalt as your boyfriend’s crazed, motor-maniacal ex. Upstate New York triathlete killed when he rides into the back of a parked car; another is seriously injured while exchanging water bottles. A pair of bike-riding Pennsylvania teenagers rescue a kidnapped five-year old girl; thanks to D.D. Syrdal for the heads-up. The next broken down bike rider you see could be Dave Matthews on his way to his own show, and you could get front row tickets if you stop. Seriously, no matter how pissed off you are about the 70-something driver who nearly hit you, don’t try to punch him out. A nice piece from Bike Delaware explains why you may be invisible to some drivers.

A British pub owner is really, really sorry he threatened to run down “weak-kneed” cyclists at 60 mph. Half of all Brits admit to road rage; maybe that’s why someone is pushing people off bikes in Leicester. With a week left, the Tour de France may already be over, as Froome looks unbeatable. Cadel Evans tweets advice on how to watch a bike race safely. A year after she quit racing, American Mara Abbott is a two-time winner of Italy’s prestigious Giro Rosa. Lexus rolls out a one million-yen limited edition bike; yawn.

Finally, what do you do after leaving City Council? Former Councilmember Ed Reyes rides a bike. And it looks like Westfield Century City will soon open LA’s first bike station; more on that later.

Westfield Bike Station

Cheering on Brentwood Cat 1 racers, SaMo police catch a bike thief, and a weekend’s worth of links

Congratulations to Velo Club La Grange on another successful Brentwood Grand Prix on Sunday.

Even my non-biking wife, whose eyes glaze over at the mere mention of bicycling, was highly entertained. As was the Corgi, who can be heard cheering the riders on in this brief clip from the from the Cat 1 and 2 crit.

At least, I think she’s cheering.

………

When Santa Monica police saw a man using a bolt cutters to remove a lock from a $1500 Trek, he told them he had lost his key. However, using their Sherlockian powers of deduction, they quickly noticed it was a combination lock.

Needless to say, he is now under arrest.

Thanks to Stanley E. Goldich for the heads-up.

………

The UCI, the agency governing international cycling, insists that USADA has no authority to pursue charges against Lance Armstrong; the question is, do they want to prosecute him themselves, or derail the charges?

Meanwhile, ex-Tour de France winner Alberto Contador says he’s grown up during his doping ban.

………

The hit-and-run epidemic has become so severe even cops are victims. Beverly Hills may or may not discuss proposed bikeways, and may actually get bike racks in the hopefully soon-to-be-former biking black hole; thanks to Mark Elliott of Better Bike for the heads-up. La Cañada Flintridge becomes the latest local city to develop a new bike plan; link courtesy of Erik Griswold. A La Puente man suffers serious injuries in a fall on the San Gabriel Canyon Road after losing control on a descent and crashing into the mountain. A Bakersfield firefighter takes on the quarterfinals of Olympic sprint cycling, while a Temecula woman wins silver in team pursuit. A Bay Area cyclist faces deportation for riding on the wrong side of the street. Sonoma cyclists confront a summer of sorrow.

Bicycling looks at seven fast, fun and affordable road bikes; affordability being a relative term, of course. UCONN basketball coach Jim Calhoun breaks his hip falling off his bike, surgery was successful. Rochester-area cyclists gather to honor a pair of cyclists, one killed and one seriously injured. Lights, reflective clothes and a helmet aren’t enough to save an Ohio rider. A New York ethicist tries to justify running stop signals on a bike. Thirty years after graduating, a former Baton Rouge resident takes her first ride to school. A fleeing Florida criminal kills two cyclists in an attempt to get away from police; that would be two counts of felony murder, right? Is a Florida bikeway a bike path to nowhere, or a key link in a future bike system?

The family of the cyclist killed by an Olympic media bus asks that his death not be used for political point-scoring by pro-bike advocates. The next generation of British bike racers suffered a tragic loss as an 18-year old member of their developmental squad dies after crashing into a wall. Is this really a safe junction? British success in Olympic cycling has lead to an explosion in the MAMIL population. Brit riders are kicking ass in the velodrome. Bald, beautiful and an Olympic gold medal winner in track cycling. Once again, the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain offers a list of links that puts my modest efforts to shame. Salzburg, Austria suffers an increase in cycling deaths. David Hembrow demonstrates how to get parked cars off the streets.

Finally, in a breathtaking attack of rationality, Caltrans proposes lowering the speed limit — yes, lowering — on the Pasadena Freeway to 45 mph. Now if they can figure out a way to drop the limit on a few other roads. And a motorist chases down a hit-and-run driver who fled after hitting a bike rider, and captures it all on video; Cyclelicious speculates that it may have been shot here.

………

Best wishes to Rick Risemberg, aka Mr. Bicycle Fixation, for a full and fast recovery; thankfully, he’s living proof that even serious cyclists like you and me need to take care of ourselves. And with luck, he’ll be around a long time to remind us all.

A Register writer points the finger, bike crime fighting councilmembers, and a trail full of bike links

The OC Register’s Dan Whiting calls for better etiquette from riders after a couple of roadies yell at a group of children scattered on the wrong side of the Santa Ana River trail.

While yelling at children who may not know any better is never the right thing to do, I question if the parents involved — and Whiting, for that matter — considered the danger uncontrolled children pose to themselves and those around them on shared trails.

Personally, I consider it child endangerment when parents allow their kids to run around on pathways oblivious to the presence of other path users. I’ve gone to the ER myself when I had to lay my bike down to avoid a small boy who darted out in front of my bike with no warning.

Whiting’s explanation is that the cyclists were simply unwilling to slow down. Having been there too many times, I’d suggest it’s far more likely they were worried about a collision that could have sent both them and the children to the hospital.

And responded in a predictable, if inappropriate, manner.

Yes, the situation he describes was a violation of trail etiquette, as well as safety. But he may be pointing the finger in the wrong direction.

While there are no shortage of rude riders — and walkers, drivers, skaters, equestrians and humans in general — as Rashomon makes clear, there are multiple perspectives to every story.

And please, enough with that bike bashing “Lance Armstrong wannabe” crap, already.

Meanwhile, Lovely Bicycle gets it pretty much right on how to share pathways with pedestrians.

………

After dragging on… and on… and on… it looks like we may finally see white smoke on the new federal transportation bill.

Despite rumors that negotiators were going to cave in to the more radical anti-bike and pedestrian elements in Congress — even though 83% of Americans support continued funding, as do over 70 national organizations, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and 13 state governors — at least some protected funding for non-motorized traffic appear to have made it into the final bill.

………

A New York cyclist and bike researcher says it’s insane for the city to offer a bike share program without mandating helmet use, while the city’s CFO calls for mandatory helmet use, but gets the numbers, among other details, wrong.

So let me get this straight. Anyone wanting to rent a bike would have to bring their own helmet, or share one with the all the greasy haired, lice-ridden riders who used it before you?

Count me out.

Besides, there are other ways to keep cyclists safer.

………

Evidently, local politicians are going the extra mile to get the bike vote, as a Santa Cruz city councilmember chases a bike thief during a break in yesterday’s council session. And a Costa Mesa council candidate calls police after spotting a bike thief, leading to his arrest.

The bike thief, not the council candidate.

………

David Hembrow compares L.A.’s new bike plan to the Netherlands and finds it, not surprisingly, lacking. Streetsblog looks behind the scenes at the upcoming, and somewhat questionable, Bike Nation L.A. bike share program. Better Bike reports on the bike studies presented at the LACBC’s recent grad night. KCET Departures rides the L.A. River bike path, while the Orange Line bike path gets a four mile extension. South L.A.’s Real Rydaz are doing more than just getting paint on the street. The Source says potholes are good for nothing and we should get them fixed before they hurt someone; good advice, even if the repair is sometimes worse than the hole. Former BMX rider Stephen Murray still loves the sport that nearly killed him. Local riders prepare for the first Pasadena Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia; thanks to Matthew Gomez for the heads-up. Cyclists from Cal Tech are asking for east-west bikeways through Pasadena. Alhambra moves forward with the city’s first bicycle master plan. A Long Beach company is looking for test riders for their new bike.

AAA’s Westways magazine talks bikes this month. OC Girl Scouts create their own biking map of San Clemente. An allegedly drunk cyclist is seriously injured in a Hemet collision. Inspiring story as a former Camarillo CHP officer qualifies for the Paralympics cycling team five years after his spinal cord was severed by a drunk driver. A San Luis Obispo woman intentionally runs down a cyclist following an argument in a parking lot. Six women cyclists will ride the Tour de France course one day ahead of the men. Sunnyvale could be the third city to pass an L.A.-style bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance. A San Francisco attorney is charged with felony hit-and-run and misdemeanor manslaughter for leaving a cyclist to die in the street; at least he shouldn’t have trouble getting a lawyer. Bike lawyer Bob Mionske writes about the Strava racing San Francisco cyclist charged with felony vehicular manslaughter in the death of a pedestrian, and follows-up by answering questions about the case in detail. A 68-year old Sonoma cyclist was killed last week in an apparent SWSS after reportedly signaling for a left, then making his turn directly into the path of a big rig coming from behind.

Bicycling looks at Americans riding in this year’s Tour de France; we’re not so parochial as to only cheer for our fellow countrymen, are we? Bicycling’s Bill Strickland falls in love with the new, nearly $12,000 Trek Madone. Washington AAA now offers bike assistance; if they’d do that down here, I might reconsider renewing my membership — if they promise not to use my dues to lobby against bike safety legislation. American cycling scion Taylor Phinney takes his appointment to the U.S. Olympic team seriously. One Colorado highway, three world-class bike parks. The Colorado wildfires force postponement of a mountain bike race in my hometown, but don’t seem to affect the city’s Bike to Work Day. A Knoxville cyclist is sideswiped, then beaten by an angry driver — apparently for touching the car to keep his balance. A Louisiana man pleads not guilty to killing one cyclist and critically injuring another, despite a BAC of .307. Twitter gets a writer’s bike back just hours after it was stolen. Good news for New York drivers, as it’s still legal to kill a cyclist with your car door. Our North Carolina friend Zeke has lost his cycling mojo; any suggestions on how to get it back would likely be appreciated.

Bike advocates head to Vancouver for Velo-City. The Toronto Sun calls mandatory helmet laws a no-brainer; so is finding a new editorial writer if they can’t get past that tired no-brainer cliché. Or maybe the solution is to require helmets for drivers. A group of 25 Canadian opera singers are biking around the country to promote their art. Bookmark this page — a UK cyclist offers an extraordinarily detailed response to virtually every objection a motorist could have to bike riders. British bike traffic is up 18%. NBC re-ups to cover the Tour de France for another 10 years. An Aussie Olympic cyclist gets a slap on the wrist after being convicted of drunk driving in Spain. A German physician guesses there’s a high rate of drunk cycling crashes in his town. Here’s your chance to compete in a one day race in the Himalayas against the prince of Bhutan; one word of advice, it’s not always a good idea to finish ahead of the local royalty.

Finally, the Economist looks at the great Agenda 21 conspiracy in which a single sidewalk or bike lane will inevitably lead to one-world government.

They’re on to us, comrades.

A little this, a little that — social media bike thieves, a jerk cyclist and a leading blogger dumps on LACBC

They’re getting smarter.

According to an email circulating in the local cycling community, the L.A. Sheriff’s Department has broken up a bike theft ring that used social media to identify what bikes to steal.

The email reported that the suspects would identify bike owners through Facebook, Craigslist and geotagged photos, and exchange emails using a fictitious name and email address. Then they would research their victims and their homes online before driving to their houses at night, breaking in and stealing their bikes.

The thieves used the names Joe Wayne and Mark Silverstein, both using Yahoo accounts. They may have negotiated with their victims about buying a bike or just about riding; victims may have emailed them a photo of their bike before it was stolen.

According to the email, most of the bikes that were recovered have been stripped of their components; however, the Sheriff’s Department has around 40 frames and 100 wheels they hope to return to their owners.

I’m not going to post the name and contact numbers of the Sheriff’s Lieutenant who sent the email online; however, if this story sounds a little too familiar to you, email me at the address on the About page and I’ll send his contact information to you.

Thanks to Eric Bruins and the staff at Geklaw for the heads-up.

………

Mike tips us to the story of a hit-and-run of a different sort, as a volunteer working to help clean up the L.A. River is the victim of a cyclist who failed to stop after crashing into her.

So let’s make this very clear.

If you hit someone while riding your bike, you have just as much of an obligation to stop as anyone else. No matter who’s at fault.

And while it’s called the L.A. River bike path, it’s actually a multi-use trail, like most off-road bike paths in the L.A. area. Which means pedestrians have as much right to be there as you do, whether they’re cleaning up the river or out for a late night stroll.

And whether you like it or not.

Yes, they have an obligation to use the bikeway safely and watch out for other people, whether on two wheels or two feet.

Just like you do.

And anyone who yells at pedestrians to “get off the bike path” — let alone fails to stop after hitting one — is just a jerk.

Meanwhile, the comments offer the usual distasteful back and forth that seems to occur whenever anything involving a cyclist occurs.

As a famous L.A. area resident put it 20 years ago this week, can we all get along?

………

You’re invited to participate in a webcast with pro cyclist Levi Leipheimer at 1:30 pm on Monday, May 7th.

The webcast is open to the public; however, you must have a Ustream profile or log-in using your Twitter account in order to join the live chat, or ask questions using your Facebook account. And if Levi likes your question, you’ll win a limited edition Levi poster from CLIF Bar.

……..

In other upcoming events, this Saturday will see a free Tour de Palmdale Poker Run Fun Bike Ride to celebrate the city’s hosting of the 6th Stage of the Amgen Tour of California.

Riders will meet at Marie Kerr Park, 2723 Rancho Vista, and ride a 30 mile course through the city, picking up a playing card at each stop; the one with the best poker hand at the end of the ride wins. Thanks to Michele Chavez for the tip.

And everyone who rides PCH — or would like to — is invited attend a progress meeting on the design of the Pacific Coast Bike Route Improvements Project between Busch Drive and the western Malibu city limit. The meeting is scheduled for 10 am to noon in the Multi-Purpose Room at Malibu City Hall, 23825 Stuart Ranch Road.

………

Erik Griswald forwards a couple of stories, as a Bay Area TV station goes after those damn law breaking and non-helmet wearing cyclists.

And an 18-year old Chandler AZ cyclist can thank the deity of his choice after he was right hooked by a 69-year old driver while walking his bike across the street — apparently with the light, and most likely in a crosswalk.

Even though he ended up with a broken collarbone and tire marks across his chest — and even though the driver assumed she had just hit the curb and kept going on her way to Famous Footwear — a police spokesperson said it was just a tragic accident, and no charges were likely to be filed.

So lets get this straight.

A woman fails to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, never even looking in the direction she’s actually turning. Then continues merrily on her way, oblivious to the fact that she’d just literally run over another human being.

And the police say it’s just an oops?

Just thank God you don’t live or ride in Chandler AZ.

………

Santa Maria cyclists are mourning the death of a popular club leader who was run down by an 84-year old driver who failed to negotiate a turn on PCH.

I suppose that will just be an “oops,” too.

………

Thanks to the multiple people who have sent me links to the many, many stories about the Berkeley hit-and-run that was captured by bike cam, leading to the arrest of a typical scumbag ex-con.

There’s really not much left to say about this one.

Except that it offers dramatic evidence that every cyclist should have a bike cam of their very own. I’m starting to consider it every bit as important as lights or a helmet.

After all, while lights can help keep you from getting hit and a helmet could offer some protection if you get hit, a cam could offer proof of what happened if you do get hit. And as this case shows, help catch the driver if he or she flees the scene —as happens in a third of all L.A. collisions.

And it seems to be absolutely necessary to build a case under the city’s still-untested cyclist anti-harassment ordinance, which still hasn’t seen its first test case.

Of course, I should talk.

I don’t have one yet myself, thanks to a budget so tight it squeaks. Maybe GoPro or Contour would like to sponsor a poor, lowly bike blogger.

Hey, it could happen. Right?

………

LA/2B and GOOD invite you to imagine your ideal car-free day in L.A.; the winner will receive $500 to make it a reality.

………

Finally, Mikael Colville-Andersen, author of Copenhagenize and Copenhagen Cycle Chic — and arguably the world’s leading bike blogger — takes the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition to task for its standard liability waiver for group rides, describing it as a “massive marketing/advocacy FAIL.”

Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.

Maybe Denmark is a far less litigious society that ours. Maybe he just doesn’t understand American legal culture. Or maybe his rabid campaign against bike helmets has led to a little confusion due to one too many falls.

But even so, he should have realized that the waiver form comes from the LACBC’s insurance company and was written by their lawyers, not the coalition’s. And that use of that form is a requirement to even get insurance, without which a non-profit organization such as the LACBC would be unable to host rides, since the legal fallout from a single fall or collision could be enough to wipe out the entire organization.

He’s right, though.

The form could be written a lot better. But that’s a matter to take up with the insurance companies and lawyers, not a non-profit leading the fight for safer streets and improved access for cyclists in L.A. County.

And which just wants to let local cyclists enjoy a simple bike ride.

Without getting sued.

Happy Bike Month!

A campus full of steal-able bikes at USC may be a sign of bigger problems

Just a small fraction of the bikes I saw on campus.

Yesterday, I found myself on the University of Southern California campus for the first time.

While crosstown rival UCLA has earned honors as a bronze-level Bike-Friendly University  (pdf) — which may have something to do with their dramatic decrease in vehicular traffic — USC has struggled with the issue of bikes on campus.

But don’t call it a problem, please.

Cars on and around campus are a problem. Getting students onto campus from outlying areas is a problem.

Bikes are a big part of the solution, by allowing students to leave their cars at home and still have the independent mobility they need to get to class on time. As well as to their jobs and other sites throughout the city.

In fact, a full 80% of USC students consider themselves cyclists. Which has reportedly led to the usual, seemingly inevitable conflicts as riders and pedestrians vie for space on a campus that has long considered bikes an afterthought.

If they thought about them at all, that is.

The good news is, the university is working on a bike plan as we speak, with the next workshop scheduled for April 19th. The bad news, I’m told the plan calls for building bike garages on the four corners of the university, followed by banning bikes from the campus itself.

So if you’re running late for class, you’d better plan on running.

Now there’s an intelligent solution for you.

Instead of designing well thought-out bikeways into the fabric of the campus, they may banish bikes while continuing to invite cars into a massive parking garage in the heart of the university. How about building parking garages on the edges of campus, and letting drivers walk for a change?

Of course, this is all third-hand information, at best. Maybe we should plan on attending that workshop on the 19th and find out for ourselves what’s really going there.

In the meantime, a simple walk around campus showed an abundance of bikes everywhere. As well as a decided lack of bike racks.

And many of those were the old-fashioned, minimally secure and often damaging wheel-bender type — all of which were completely full.

As a result, there were hundreds, if not thousands, of bikes lying unsecured on sidewalks or leaning up against buildings and trees.

Many of those were unlocked; most that weren’t just had a U-lock attached to the front wheel, making them easy to pick up and walk off with. Even those that were locked to a rack were usually secured by the front wheel only.

Had I wanted to steal a bike — or a hundred bikes — I could have had my pick.

And then our guide mentioned in passing that bike theft was the biggest crime problem at USC.

Funny, I could have told her that.

While UCLA is far from perfect, they’ve made a point of building secure bike parking throughout the university, from secure U-racks and bike corrals to reservable bike lockers – something USC could accomplish before the end of this semester if they really wanted to do something about the theft problem.

While the lack of secure parking is a real problem, the students themselves need to learn to lock their bikes securely.

Your lock should at least secure your rear wheel and the rear triangle of the frame; ideally, it should secure the front wheel, as well. Especially if you have quick release wheels.

My approach is to remove my front wheel and secure it, as well as the rear wheel and frame to the rack with a sturdy U-lock.

Then again, it’s not just cyclists who seem to have issue with parking.

………

It looks like I may have been taken in.

On Monday, I published a guest post by a writer named Brooke Kerwin.

Now Kevin Jones of the SafetyAtWorkBlog reports that he has been approached by Kerwin, as well. And that she may not be who she seems — if she exists at all.

Rather, he suspects that it may be an attempt to promote a site about distracted driving run by a Florida lawyer. And notes that virtually every article she writes links back to that same site.

It has all the hallmarks of a particularly devious SEO marketing campaign. And I apparently fell for it, along with a number of other people.

I won’t include a link to that site here, because I don’t believe in rewarding such illicit attempts to use this site to market a product or website. But you can find it yourself at distracted driving help dot com.

I’ll leave the post up, since it has some useful information.

But I’ve removed the links she included, two of which just linked back to my site, anyway.

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