Tag Archive for crowdfunding

Morning Links: Beating and bike theft at gunpoint in Little Tokyo, and Peloton profiles SoCal pro cyclist Coryn Rivera

Bike theft is nothing new in Los Angeles.

A sound beating and bike theft at the point of a gun is.

This morning I received the following email from Jane Voodikon, who wrote to warn LA bicyclists about the robbers who stole a bicycle from her friend Ulises Melgar Saturday night.

Today I’m writing to report to you an incident that happened to one of my biking friends this past weekend, hoping that you can help spread the word to the bicycling community. He was riding home Saturday night at around 11:30 p.m. coming out of the Little Tokyo area across the First Street Bridge eastbound toward Mariachi Plaza when a green four-door Chevrolet pickup cut him off and the passenger in the front seat pointed a gun at him and then tried to hit him with the gun. At this point he got off his bike, and then one of the men in the truck (there were five men total, wearing hats and sweatshirts around their faces) punched him, enabling the hijackers to take his bike, throw it in the truck bed, and drive off. 

It seemed they had planned this out because they had covered up the license plate with a trash bag. Unfortunately there was nobody else around to witness the crime, and at that location there would be no surveillance cameras. Understandably my friend didn’t react by taking a photo of the truck so there are really not many other identifying details. He reported it to the police, and they said they searched the area for a truck matching the description but found nothing.

He said the truck bed was empty save for a construction toolbox. 

His bike is a 2012 silver Cinelli Mash frame, 52cm, with two noticeable dents on each side of the top tube. Fizik saddle, riser bars, platform pedals with Wellgo straps. Photos are attached. 

This is especially tough (apart from it being a terrifying and traumatic incident) because he has been getting back on his feet after being laid off last year. Since January he has been delivering food by bike for Simply Salad, UberEats, and Caviar. A friend has lent him a bike temporarily so he can continue to work but his bike is not only his property but also his transportation and most importantly his lifeline to income. 

We’re hoping you can help at least alert the cycling public to the fact that there are people driving around hijacking bikes at gunpoint, and that is downright scary.

She also reports that a friend saw someone riding the bicycle the night after the bike theft around Olympic and Normandie. You can contact Melgar directly through Facebook if you see the bike or have any information about the theft.

Meanwhile, a crowdfunding campaign has been started in an effort to raise $800 to get him a new bike and gear so he can get rolling again and get back to work, but hadn’t received any donations as of this writing.

As causes go, you could do a lot worse. Maybe we can help him get that first donation.

Or maybe even put him over the top.

Update: Good news! Ulises Melgar’s bike was recovered after being spotted in Hollenbeck Park; all he ended up losing were the lights and a Garmin. 

As a result, donations have been disabled on the GoFundMe page, and any who gave will be contacted about their donations. 

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Peloton profiles SoCal’s own Coryn Rivera, who became the first American to win the Tour of Flanders earlier this year.

Former Tour de France, Giro and Vuelta champ Alberto Contador announced his plans to retire after this year’s Vuelta.

Next year’s Giro d’Italia will start just a tad outside the country, in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Jillian Bearden will become the first transgendered woman to ride in a pro peloton when she takes part in Thursday’s Colorado Classic, setting a standard for trans athletes around the world; she credits bike racing with saving her life.

The last two days of the Colorado Classic will be part bike race, and part music and lifestyle festival.

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Local

A man riding a bicycle was the victim of a drive-by shooting in South LA early Monday; he was hospitalized in stable condition with bullet wound to one leg.

The Daily Breeze looks forward to Sunday’s CicLAvia in San Pedro and Wilmington, though not all the local businesses seem to be on board. They may get a pleasant surprise if they reach out to participants, instead of closing their shops or turning their backs on the event.

Competition kicked off in the 2017 World Police and Fire Games with a crit in Santa Clarita on Sunday, won by a 35-year old Cat 1 rider from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

 

State

Up to 1,000 people turned out for Santa Barbara’s annual unsanctioned Fiesta Cruiser Ride to Isla Vista and back. If the ride has been taking place every year since the 1970s, resulting in traffic citations and safety concerns, why not just make it official and control — if not close down — the route?

Sad news from Kern County, where a man was killed in a collision while riding his bike on Edwards Air Force Base early Monday morning.

The Hayward-based maker of Abba-Zaba, Big Hunk, Look, Rocky Road and U-No candy bars is one of us.

San Francisco installs concrete K rails to upgrade an existing protected bike lane, which was previously marked with paint and plastic bollards, but does nothing to improve safety at dangerous intersections.

Calbike released the schedule for October’s California Bike Summit in Sacramento.

 

National

A new CyclingTips podcast tackles the question of whether ebikes belong on singletrack trails.

The Department of DIY strikes in Spokane WA, as someone reinstalled a bike lane the city had moved to the opposite side of the street.

An Idaho man is training to compete in the Hawaii Iron Man triathlon, 23 years after he was paralyzed from the neck down.

A small Denver composting company is using a bicycle and trailer to collect food waste from restaurants and apartment buildings.

Thirty bicyclists take a ride through Dallas in their underwear. Next year, they should be able to do it on their choice of three dockless bikeshare providers.

Kindhearted Ohio sheriff’s deputies pitch in to buy a new bicycle for a young man, after the bike he used to ride to work couldn’t be repaired.

Caught on video: A compilation of footage from a Tennessee security cam clearly illustrates the dangers of riding across railroad tracks, even when there aren’t any trains around.

The battle over lane reductions and parking-protected bike lanes moves east, as residents and business owner in Cambridge, Massachusetts respond the same way they did here in LA.

New York removes a parking lane to provide space for a protected bike lane and a wider sidewalk. But only for one block.

Philadelphia is installing its first parking-protected bike lane, while bike cam video shows why the city’s unprotected two-way cycle track is a bad idea.

Eva Longoria is one of us, as she goes for a bike ride with her husband in Miami, dressed in casual clothes. Even if the press does freak out about her lack of a helmet.

 

International

Submitted without comment from the Toronto Globe and Mail: “Bike licensing fixes traffic problems about as well as mercury cures syphilis.”

A pair of Walmart heirs just bought British bikewear maker Rapha for the equivalent of $260 million.

No irony here. A London town council promotes a car-sharing program that allows drivers to drop off the cars anywhere, just days after impounding bikeshare bikes for doing exactly the same thing.

The world’s biggest bike parking garage just opened in the Netherlands; when finished, it will provide parking for up to 12,500 bicycles.

Let the Cycling Yogis be your guide the next time you’re riding in Madras, India.

The new government in India’s Uttar Pradesh is trying to rip out cycle tracks installed by the previous administration, blaming them for increasing traffic congestion. Although it doesn’t help that a bicycle is the ballot symbol of the outgoing political party.

 

Finally…

Maybe not the best time to go for a bike ride after you just escaped from prison a few days earlier. If you have to steal a package off a woman’s porch while walking your bicycle, try not to take the cremated ashes of her dead Yorkie.

And lots of people flip over pro cycling.

Just not literally.

 

Morning Links: Crowdsourcing the fight against distracted driving, and a new look at the murder of Ronni Chasen

This one is worth your money.

The Milt Olin Foundation, named after the music executive killed by a distracted LA County sheriff’s deputy while riding his bike on Mulholland Highway, has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the fight against distracted driving.

In just two days, it’s raised over $15,000 of the $20,000 goal for their #HandsOff movement to end Distracted Driving.

Send the link to everyone you know. And let’s see if we can push this over the top before today is over.

………

The Hollywood Reporter offers an extended follow-up on the shooting death of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen, alleging Beverly Hills police conducted a sloppy investigation before concluding that a bike-riding ex-con pulled the trigger, then shot himself two weeks later as police closed in.

It’s worth a read.

Because that was one case that never passed the smell test, even from the beginning.

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No bias here. New York’s Daily News absolves the driver responsible for the death of 15-year old bike rider Saul Lopez in Pacoima Tuesday morning by saying “police believe one driver did not adhere to a traffic stop.”

Which is about as mild a way possible of saying someone killed him by running a red light.

………

Norwegian cycling officials say one of their junior riders was deliberately rammed by a Qatari policeman after winning a medal at the recent world championships, presumably because of her “inappropriate” clothing.

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Local

Pulitzer Prize-winning transit expert Edward Humes discusses the plusses and minuses of Measure M, including support for bikeways and bikeshare among the former; highways, trains and carpool lanes in the latter.

The LACBC will host their annual open house on December 7th.

The Santa Monica Bike Center is celebrating its fifth birthday tomorrow evening.

Burbank’s formerly fixie-focused Pure Cycles is entering the road bike market.

Lake Arrowhead’s long-defunct Santa’s Village will reopen soon for the holidays, including a bicycle-themed Pedals Pub serving craft beers from area breweries. Which sounds like a good reason to stop on your next ride along the Rim of the World.

 

State

California’s proposed transportation bill would boost bike and pedestrian funding by $80 to $150 million, but doesn’t include a requirement for Complete Streets, or align with the state’s climate goals.

San Diego approves a new growth and development plan for the city’s uptown district, including a request to identify funding to complete a bike lane connecting the Hillcrest and North Park neighborhoods along University Ave.

Nice essay from a Stanford student about riding through campus, in which she concludes, “When you unlock your bike each morning you are entering into conversation with the world and those who populate it.”

 

National

Another reminder that bikes help those in need. A 19-year old Afghan refugee tells the story of her family’s long, arduous journey to the US, where her father rode his bike to work in construction every day after discovering his Russian engineering degree was useless in this country.

A Wichita KS Whole Foods puts its money where its mouth is, donating a $1,200 bike repair station to the city.

New York considers giving bicyclists a head start at red lights by allowing riders to go during the advance walk phase before the green light.

North Carolina’s governor challenges residents to hike, walk, bike, paddle or skate 100 miles. Not in a day, a week or even a month, but over the course of a full year. Seriously? If that’s a challenge, it’s no wonder most Americans are out of shape.

 

International

Sunday marks the World Day of Remembrance for Victims of Traffic Violence.

A cyclist and author offers advice on how to keep your lady parts happy when you ride. Assuming you have them, of course.

A Winnipeg city councilor calls for a Vision Zero plan for the Canadian city.

Talk about burying the lead. London’s Daily Mail reports a woman denied seriously injuring a bike rider when she rear-ended his bike. But fails to mention she’s accused of intentionally chasing and running him down in a road rage dispute that began when he complained about her cellphone use, and escalated when he kicked off her side mirror.

London’s former cycling minister suggests five things he says will determine if the city’s new mayor is serious about keeping his bike-friendly campaign promises.

We’re winning. Copenhagen now has more bike traffic than car traffic.

The Guardian looks at the opening of Africa’s first bikeshare system in Marrakech, Morocco, asking if it could be the launchpad for spreading the movement across the continent.

An Aussie paper reviews the new Ikea bicycle, and decides you could get a better value at your local bike shop. Or a cheaper bike at Kmart.

Three Zimbabwean soldiers face murder charges for beating a man to death in a dispute over a bicycle.

 

Finally…

Maybe cycling really is the new golf. Your next helmet could be an award-winning, banana-shaped piece of paper.

And note to thieves: If you drop your bike and run as soon as a police car approaches, it only calls attention to your probation violation and burglary tools.

Just a hint.

 

Weekend Links: Bike crowdfunding, Bike Day at New Urbanism Film Fest, and a bike riding king of Bhutan

Let’s start by catching up with world of crowdfunding.

A new Kickstarter project promises to deliver a carbon frame, belt-driven urban bike with integrated LED lights and GPS tracking for as low as $950.

A San Francisco cyclist currently living in Brooklyn is looking for Kickstarter backers to help fund the new book Ghost Bike: A Photographic Journey.

And Denver attempts to crowdfund part of a protected bike lane.

……..

A ghost bike will be installed at 5 pm today to honor fallen Newport Beach cyclist Shaun Eagleson.

The New Urbanism Film Festival screens November 6th through the 9th at the ACME Comedy Theater, 135 N. La Brea, featuring a Bike Day on Saturday the 8th — including a live podcast of the Pedal Love show — followed by a group bike ride on Sunday to help promote a bike friendly streets proposal from the Mid City West Community Council.

North Long Beach is hosting a Kidical Mass Ride on Saturday, November 15th.

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Local

The Times talks with cyclist, nail polish heir and Pedalers Fork owner Robbie Schaeffer.

Marina del Rey is getting a much needed makeover, including new bike paths.

Santa Clarita cuts the ribbon on a new bridge and bike path.

Long Beach begins work on a new pedestrian path to move walkers off what is now a multi-use path, as well as a bike route and roundabouts through Bixby Knolls and Los Cerritos.

 

State

This is what they take away from the highly flawed Governors Highway Safety Administration report? A website on California government blames drunk, helmetless cyclists for the apparent rise in bicycling fatalities; evidently, the drivers who hit them are totally blameless.

Newport Beach gets a grant for a year-long traffic safety enforcement program — including bike and pedestrian enforcement efforts.

Chula Vista extends bike access to the bay.

Now that’s more like it. Riverside County prosecutors re-file a murder charge against William Donald Johnson for the death of Beaumont cyclist Phillip Richards in Calimesa last December. Jurors convicted Johnson of felony gross vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence and hit-and-run causing injury or death, but deadlocked on the murder charge.

This is just too sad. A San Luis Obispo cyclist is killed while riding with her fiancé, just three weeks before their wedding day.

A Vacaville letter writer urges cyclists to think of themselves as cars and stop for red lights; of course, when we do, drivers get mad because we’re in the lane in front of them.

 

National

Bicycling’s Bob Mionske notes that cyclist anti-harassment laws are spreading across the country, and the political will to change intimidating behavior by motorists may soon follow.

Caught on video: An anti-bike motorist is challenged to bike to work for a full week.

Bike the Vote seems to be spreading, as the Denver city clerk declared Saturday “Bike in Your Ballot” day.

Dallas proves it is in fact possible to indict a cop for killing a bike rider while on duty. Maybe we can trade DA’s with them.

Grist looks at Mary Burke, who could become the next, bike-loving governor of Wisconsin.

Bike lanes are blamed for deepening inequality in Memphis; evidently, only the wealthier creative class benefits from bike riding in Tennessee.

A New York cop crashes his patrol car into a truck; needless to say, a bike rider gets the blame.

A New Orleans judge blocks a road diet and bike lanes on behalf of a church school that evidently doesn’t want to improve safety for its students.

 

International

So much for LA’s status as the hit-and-run capital of the world, as nearly 80 Londoners are injured or killed in hit-and-runs each week.

Now that’s a jerk. A British cyclist breaks both arms and a foot in a crash with another rider who just rode away without a word; an Aussie cyclist is awarded $1.7 million for another bike-on-bike collision.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. A Brit teenager is stabbed in the back in an argument over bike brakes.

The Netherlands institutes a bike safety exam for seniors; we can’t even get safety exams to get dangerous older motorists off the road.

In Bhutan, even the king rides a bike in a country that has become the latest improbable bastion of bicycling.

An Aussie state considers fining motorists who violate a proposed 1-meter law, the equivalent of California’s three-foot passing law.

There’s a new hour record holder already, as Australian Matthias Brandle breaks the record Jens Voigt set just a few weeks ago. No disrespect, but am I the only one who’s disappointed Jensie’s record is already off the books?

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you’re carrying illegal drugs on your bike, don’t crash into the back of police cruiser while texting — and don’t rack your nuts in the process. A British inventor creates an ice bike; no, not a bike designed to ride on ice, one with tires made of it.

And now you, too, can have a two-wheeled Ferrari of your very own, with walnut wood coating and woven leather for a cool $7,500 — or $11,300 with electric assist.

 

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