Tag Archive for helmet cam video

A slow building right hook, how it looks to be invisible and a very courteous SaMo parking officer

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a chance to post any videos from my recent rides.

I ended up deleting most of them this past month as I worked to catch up from my recent involuntary computer downtime. And anything that didn’t seem all that dramatic didn’t make the cut.

But here are a few that did.

First up, as happens far too often, a driver speeds up to pass me on Abbot Kinney, then cuts in front of me to make a right turn. He might have gotten away with it if he hadn’t had to stop short to let a pedestrian cross the street he was turning onto.

If I didn’t have good brakes — thanks Chris! — and more importantly, been prepared to use them, this could have had a different outcome.

Note to drivers — never count on a best case scenario to complete a move you shouldn’t have started in the first place.

Then there’s this one taken the same day while riding past the VA hospital in Brentwood, in which I discover just how it feels to be invisible, by nearly rear-ending a driver who pulled out directly in front of me.

Same notes about good brakes and preparation, same thank you to Chris, formerly of the Westwood Helen’s and now a rockstar bike buyer in the Santa Monica store.

And by the way Chris, if you ever need someone to review anything…

Finally, my videos tend to focus on stupid driver tricks, simply because that’s what I usually encounter on the streets. And what shows up well on video.

Trust me, I wish the video of the idiot who nearly t-boned me Thursday by making a left into the bike lane I was riding in on San Vicente had come out better so I could show it to you. But even though he finally stopped about a foot from my left hip, I was looking straight ahead at the time trying to get the hell away from him.

And the camera doesn’t show what I’m not looking at.

But riding north on Ocean through downtown Santa Monica that same day, I was annoyed to find a parking enforcement officer cruising in the bike lane ahead of me, and started searching for a break in traffic to go around him.

Until he evidently noticed me in his rear view mirror, that is, and courteously — and safely — pulled out of my way to let me pass.

And no, he wasn’t pulling over to write a ticket; he gave me a wave as I passed, then pulled back in behind me once I was out of the way.

Note to the City of Santa Monica — if you can identify this guy from the video, give him a medal or a commendation or something.

He makes your city look damn good.

If only all your parking officers — let alone drivers — would follow his lead, the streets would be a much safer place for all of us.

A ride through the Westside, in eight parts

Cars blocking bike lanes. Doors blocking bike lanes. Trucks blocking bike lanes. Nannies blocking bike lanes. Elderly drivers ignoring right of way. New sharrows in front of Catholic churches. Missing sharrows. Useless sharrows. Decrepit Victorian VA churches. Last second left cross drivers.

Or as I like to call it, Thursday.

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a video from my helmet cam.

It’s not that I haven’t captured anything worth sharing. It’s just that by the time I usually get around to editing the video, the limited storage left on my ancient Mac means I’ve usually had to delete the footage before I can do anything with it.

So I wanted to get this one out while it’s fresh.

This is footage I captured on yesterday’s ride through L.A.’s Westside and Santa Monica. The sad thing is, there’s absolutely nothing unusual about it. Other than discovering new sharrows on my usual route through Westwood, things like this happen virtually every time I get out on my bike.

Maybe just not so many on the same ride.

And this wasn’t even everything I saw, good or bad.

There were a couple of Jerry Browns that the camera didn’t pick up – it seems that the fisheye lens on the cam means that a driver has to virtually brush me before the video looks anywhere as close as it feels in person. And I also have to avoid flinching, since the helmet mount means I miss the whole thing if I turn my head away.

I also noticed the county has been busy with the sharrow stencils, as well, adding a single symbol on Washington between the beachfront bike path and where the bike lane picks up on the next block. They also put in a few behind the Marina library, where riders on the Marina bike path have to share a brief roadway with drivers using the parking lot or moving their boats.

And in a nod to the Cycle Chic crowd, I wanted to offer a look at a well-dressed woman I encountered who looked about as good as anyone could on her bike. But when I saw the video, it felt a lot more like Creepy Stalker Guy than an honest appreciation of a fellow cyclist.

Delete.

As for those newfound sharrows on Ohio, maybe someone can explain to me why they skip the two blocks between Selby and Glendon on the westbound side, but not on the east.

Did they just forget? Or is there some incomprehensible reason why those two blocks on that side of the street, where they’re most needed, don’t qualify for sharrows?

Because it’s right there, in that direction, where I feel most pressured by drivers when I take the lane, since it’s far to narrow to safely share.

A little pavement-based support from the city for the proper road position would have gone a long way towards telling impatient drivers that’s exactly where I belong. And encourage more timid riders to use the street and move out of the door zone, despite pressure from drivers coming up behind them.

There seems to be no reason to omit them from the street.

But omitted, they are.

And don’t get me started on the oddly placed sharrow further west that forces riders to duck beneath a low tree branch as they hug the curb.

Or the oddly undulating placement that may keep riders out of the way of vehicular in places without parking, but encourages them to weave in and out of the traffic flow in a dangerous manner, as some motorists may not be willing to cede the road space to let them back into the traffic lane.

Look, I’m not complaining. Much.

I’d glad to have sharrows on a street that needed them.

But these need some serious improvement before they meet the apparent goals of encouraging more ridership and keeping riders safer on the street.

KABC-7 updates the Zoo Drive hit-and-run, and a BMW driver gives me good chance to check my brakes

A few quick notes this morning.

KABC-7 picks up the horrifying story of Damian Kevitt, the cyclist hit by an impatient driver while riding on Zoo Drive near the L.A. Zoo, and dragged by the fleeing minivan nearly a quarter mile onto the 5 Freeway.

As the story notes, Kevitt has already lost one leg below the knee and suffered 20 broken bones throughout his body; according to his uncle, he’s still at risk of losing the other leg.

Keep your eyes peeled for an older gray Toyota Sienna or other similar minivan with possible front end damage; witnesses report the van had a For Sale sign in the window with the partial phone number 213/XXX-0776.

The driver needs to do some serious jail time for such a cruel and vicious assault. The collision may not have been intentional, but the decision to flee with the victim still trapped underneath his van was.

Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP Altadena station at (323) 259-2010.

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Yesterday, I had a clear demonstration of the importance of good brakes, as a driver on San Vicente cut in front of me with no warning the moment the bike lane ended just west of Brentwood.

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After the success in getting all five major candidates for mayor of L.A. and several city council candidates on the record for their stands on bicycling issues, the LACBC’s Civic Engagement Committee meets tonight to discuss how to get out the bike vote, and the next steps for the May runoff election. The meeting takes place at 6:45 pm at the Johnnie’s Pizza at Museum Square, 5757 Wilshire Blvd.

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LACBC local chapter Santa Monica Spoke is calling for cyclists to support a proposed $134 million Transportation Impact Fee at tonight’s Santa Monica city council session, including $59 million for bicycle and pedestrian projects throughout the city.

If you can’t be there in person, they urge you to call or email the council members before the vote.

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I received an invitation yesterday to participate in this fall’s California Coast Classic to benefit the Arthritis Foundation.

Unfortunately, my wife’s recent health issues make my participation in a multi-day ride a little problematic, to say the least. However, given that I’ve suffered from severe arthritis in my right knee for over 15 years as a result of a botched knee surgery in my teens, this is one event I can whole-heartedly support.

And my relatively minor inconvenience doesn’t even begin to compare to what so many others, young and old, have to go through. Despite perceptions, arthritis doesn’t just affect the elderly and infirm.

But since I can’t make it, maybe you can take a few moments to support the woman who invited me, and make a pledge to Monet Diamonte to help raise money for her ride.

Not only does she have one of the best names I’ve encountered in recent years, she’s dealt with juvenile arthritis herself since she was just two years.

And clearly, hasn’t let it get the upper hand.

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Finally, speaking of horrifying injuries, a young Chinese boy suffered a bizarre freak accident when he fell off his bike, breaking the seat post — and embedding it the last place you’d ever want it.

The good news is, surgeons were able remove it with no serious injury. But that might be the one injury that could make me quit riding forever.

Good heart news, stupid driver tricks and a first-hand biking screw-up caught on video

Please forgive the lack of a full post this morning; after a full day in the hospital with my wife yesterday, I came home and collapsed on the couch instead of writing anything.

The good news is, she’s doing amazingly, phenomenally, unbelievably well. Despite suffering what her physicians described as a major heart attack, she appears to have suffered little or no lasting damage to her heart, thanks to an emergency response team that had her in surgery within minutes of her collapse.

She looks and sounds great, to the point that you wouldn’t even know why she’s in the hospital. If all goes well, she should be out of the ICU today, and could even be back home before the weekend is over.

We owe big thanks to the Beverly Hills Fire Department, the ER staff at Cedars Sinai, and her coworkers; without the exceptional efforts of each, this story could have had a much different outcome. While I have often criticized Beverly Hills, their fire department is first rate.

And a very big thank you to everyone for your prayers and kind words. I am truly humbled that so many people, those I know and countless others I’ve never met, took time to express your caring thoughts.

Bless you all.

I hope to get back to regular bike programming later today; check back late tonight or in the morning and hopefully I’ll have a link round-up for you, and maybe an events update.

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Meanwhile, let’s take a look at a couple of helmet cam videos from a recent ride. Both show dangerous driving tricks that put my safety at risk.

As well as one that demonstrates bad judgement on my own part.

Yes, I make mistakes too. And nearly paid for it this time.

More stupid driver tricks for your weekend entertainment, and a long list of coming bike events

Before we get to this week’s events, let’s take a few seconds — literally — to look at a couple new helmet cam videos from a recent ride.

I’d like to say these are unusual events. No, really, I would.

But I see some sort of stupid driver tricks like this virtually every time I ride. Yet somehow, most drivers only seem to notice the cyclists who blow through red lights and stop signs.

Go figure.

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Bike Talk airs every Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

Bike Long Beach hosts Bike Saturdays every weekend; ride your bike to participating local shops and business throughout the city to get special offers and discounts.

new support group has formed for people who have been involved in a bicycle collision. Everyone is welcome to share your experiences, gain insight and understanding into your emotional state and develop new coping strategies. The group will meet Saturdays from 11:30 am to 1 pm at 6310 San Vicente Blvd, Suite 401. Current LACBC members receive a discount. To learn more, contact Aurisha Smolarski at 323/203-1526 or email aurisha.smolarski@gmail.com.

If you’re reading this on Saturday, you’ve probably already missed the ride to benefit injured cyclist Russell Moon, starting at 7:30 am at Ocean Ave and San Vicente Blvd in Santa Monica. But maybe you can still stop by the same location at the end of the ride, where Moon will be in attendance from 11 am to 12:30 pm.

Flying Pigeon hosts their monthly Brewery Ride on Saturday, November 3rd from 3 to 5:30 pm. Riders meet at the Flying Pigeon LA Bike Shop, 3404 N. Figueroa St, and ride to a local brewery or beer-centric pub and back. That will be followed by the Spoke(n) Art Ride on Saturday, November 10th, and the Get Sum Dim Sum Ride on Sunday, November 18th.

This month’s LACBC Sunday Funday ride will take place on Saturday night, instead. The Haunted Saturday Funday Ride (scroll down) will take meet at 3:45 pm on Saturday, November 3rd at The Georgian, 1415 Ocean Ave in Santa Monica, rolling at 4:15 pm. Led by Executive Director Jen Klausner, the 16 mile ride will visit spooky destinations like the Marquez Family Cemetery, Sullivan Ridge Fire Road and the Murphy Ranch. Expect some climbing and descending; dirt-worthy bikes recommended.

Monday, November 5th, the High Desert Cyclists hold their monthly Cruiser Ride from 9 am to 12 noon. The easy, slow paced rides run about 20 miles, at a speed of about 10 mph, with stops along the way. This month’s ride meets at the north side parking lot at Ave S and the Aquaduct in Palmdale.

The Newport Beach Citizens Bicycle Safety Committee will meet at 4:30 pm on Monday, November 5th in the Friends Room of the Central Library, 1000 Avocado Ave. The meeting is open to the public, and anyone who lives or rides in the area is encouraged to attend.

Also on the 5th, the South Pasadena City Council will consider extending the Arroyo Seco bike path, and is asking for input from bicyclists. The meeting starts at 6 pm in the South Pasadena City Council Chambers, 1424 Mission Street.

Tuesday, November 6th is Election Day. Your vote matters, not just in deciding the next president, but for federal, state and local offices, as well as countless state and local measures. Be sure to Bike the Vote by riding to your polling place to show the world that we vote, too.

The stepdaughters of fallen cyclist Benjamin Torres are hosting a BikeRun in honor of their stepfather on November 10th starting at Rowley Park in Gardena, and proceeding to Wilton Place and 135th St. The ride assembles at 3:30 pm and rolls at 4 pm. I highly recommend this one to honor a hit-and-run victim who should still be with us.

Sunday, November 11th, the Culver City Bicycle Coalition is holding their first annual Cruise the Creek Fun Ride and Membership Drive. The intermediate level ride will run roundtrip from Culver City’s Syd Kronenthal Park, 3459 McManus Ave, to Manhattan Beach and back, followed by a family picnic and raffle in the park. Riders assemble at 9:30 am, departing at 10, with a kids ride in the park from 11 am to 1 pm and lunch from 12:30 to 2:30 pm. The ride is free for CCBC members, $10 for non-members.

CORBA (the Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association) invites riders to meet at the Hub in Topanga State Park on Saturday, November 17th to celebrate their 25th anniversary and show that mountain bikers can co-exist on off-road trails. Riders will meet at 10 am, with a group photo and cash prizes starting at 10:30.

Also on the 17th, C.I.C.L.E. is hosting the Made in LA Ride: Wine, Robots and Hot Spicy Tomato Sauce! from 10 am 1:30 pm, departing at 10:30. The ride starts the LA State Historic Park entrance to Chinatown Station, 901 N. Spring Street, and will explore institutions associated with products made in the City of Angels. A $10 donation is suggested, however, no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Here’s your chance to ride with Mayor Frank Quintero at Walk Bike Glendale’s 2nd annual Mayor’s Bike Ride. The family friendly ride is open to all ages, and meets at Glendale City Hall, 613 E. Broadway, starting at 9 am.

Sunday, November 18th, the Westside’s Bikerowave is holding a free basic bike fitting class starting at 4 pm at 12255 Venice Blvd; RSVP at bikerowaveclasses@gmail.com.

Few things go together better than bikes and beer, which is what you’ll get with the Stone Brewing Company Brewcyclers Ride on Saturday, December 1st. Riders will meet at Stone Brewing, 1999 Citracado Parkway in Escondido at 8:30 am, departing at 9 am sharp on a 20 mile roundtrip loop.

The LACBC’s second Tour de Taste is scheduled for Sunday, December 2nd; mark your calendar for a unique combination of bikes and great food. And yes, I’ll be there in some capacity to be determined.

High Desert Cyclists win the award for the first scheduled Christmas party of the year, to be held at 7 pm on Monday, December 17th at the Texas Cattle Company, 44206 10th Street West in Lancaster. You can also buy a $40 raffle ticket for a chance to win a $600 Bicycle John’s gift certificate; the raffle ticket includes a free one year family membership to the HDC.

Registration is now open for a six-day ride through San Diego and Riverside Counties between the holidays. The HI-USA Christmas Trip, which has rolled every year since the mid-1950s, starts in San Diego on December 26th and returns on December 31st, with five overnights in between. Total mileage runs between 360 and 400 miles, with terrain ranging from urban to rural, mountains to desert. Thanks to Marvin Davis for the heads-up.

Make your plans for the Malibu 7-Canyon Ride on Saturday, March 23rd with rides of 100 mile, 100 kilometers and 50 miles. The fully supported ride will begin at Zuma Beach, and pass through Latigo, Encinal, Decker, Mulholland, Little Sycamore, Yerba Buena and Deer Creek Canyons, with over 9,000 feet of climbing on the century ride. The first 200 people to register before November 15th will get a 15% discount; enter the code First200 on the registration page.

Self-entitled bike lane driving SaMo driver

It’s been one of those days. Besides other commitments, I haven’t been able to pull myself away from the news from the East coast.

So today’s post will be tomorrow’s post.

But in the meantime, here’s the latest stupid driver trick caught on helmet cam to keep you entertained.

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