Tag Archive for hit-and-run

Update: Bicyclist killed by fleeing suspect in Loma Linda police chase

A police chase has turned deadly in Loma Linda, as a Loma Linda bike rider was run down by a suspect fleeing from San Bernardino sheriff’s deputies.

According to a notice released by the department, deputies were attempting to serve a domestic violence warrant on 37-year old Eric Tafoya of Rancho Cucamonga at a residence on Benton Court in Loma Linda this morning when they saw him leave the home.

They attempted to stop his car as he drove away, however, Tafoya continued driving, apparently traveling south on Benton Street before turning west on Barton Road.

As he approached the intersection with Anderson Road at 10:48 am, he smashed into a bike rider, then continued on without stopping, until he crashed into a van and fled on foot. He was taken into custody a short time later after being located by a police dog.

The victim, whose identity is being withheld pending notice of next of kin, was taken to nearby Loma Linda Medical Center, where he died at 12:18 pm.

No other information is available at this time.

There’s no word on how fast Tafoya’s vehicle was traveling, or whether the victim was struck on Barton or crossing at the intersection.

However, a street view shows a four lane street that could invite high speeds, with a bike lane on the right shoulder.

Tafoya now faces a possible murder charge, in addition to the original warrant.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Region 1 Major Accident Investigation Team at 909/918-2305; anonymous tips can be made at 1-800/782-7463.

This is the 52nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in San Bernardino County; it’s also the second in Loma Linda since the first of the year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 62-year old Redlands resident Randolph Stephenson.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Randolph Stephenson and his loved ones.

Thanks to Kate for the heads-up.

Weekend Links: Reward for killer hit-and-run Riverside County driver, and CicLAvia returns to Wilshire this Sunday

The family of fallen cyclist Duane Darling calls on the public’s help in tracking down the hit-and-run driver who left him to die on the side of a Riverside County road.

Investigators are looking for a Ford F-150 pickup with damage to the passenger-side headlight. Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP at 951/637-8000; there’s a $1,000 reward in the case.

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Just in time for Sunday’s CicLAvia, the Militant Angeleno offers his guide to the iconic, if truncated, route, which has been shortened due to construction on the Purple Line subway.

However, he fails to include the locations of any of the other 55 Pokestops along the route.

CicLAvia offers a list of feeder rides to the event. Given the heat forecast for the weekend, my feeder ride may be the Red Line.

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More kindhearted cops.

Over a dozen Virginia police officers pitch in to buy a new bike for an autistic boy after his was stolen off his porch.

And a pair of Kentucky cops buy a new bike for a seven-year old girl after hers was stolen; the girl touchingly said the officers healed her heart.

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Evidently, it takes one to know one. Lance Armstrong makes a cryptic, one-word doping accusation when Fabian Cancellara won gold in the Rio time trial.

Bradley Wiggins becomes the UK’s most decorated Olympian after winning gold in the men’s team pursuit.

The Guardian looks at the impact not making their nation’s Olympic teams has on women cyclists, and what comes next for them.

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Local

Damien Newton talks with Bike SGV’s Wes Reutimann.

Membership in the new WeHo Pedal bikeshare costs just $69 for the first year.

 

State

A two week ride to put an end to human trafficking will end in Newport Beach on September 25th.

The co-founder and CEO of the Lyft car-sharing service once biked 350 miles from LA to Mono Lake, and helped raised funds for a campus bike line as a student at UC Santa Barbara.

The Department of DIY strikes in San Francisco, as a group called the San Francisco Transformation Agency is taking bike safety into their own orange cone-bearing hands.

Thirty bicyclists riding across the US with the Bike & Build program stopped in Stockton to work on a home.

 

National

A Colorado woman wants a new mayor who won’t pander to bike riders by allowing them to rudely ride in the middle of the traffic lane, while a bike-riding Colorado lawyer offers advice on how to deal with police and angry drivers. Such as the letter writer, probably.

A new Nebraska law gives bike riders the same crosswalk right-of-way enjoyed by pedestrians, as well as repealing the outdated mandatory side path rule.

Evidently, cycling is an obscure sport, at least as far as a Boston writer is concerned as he ranks the greatest sports movies. American Flyers over Breaking Away? Seriously?

A writer for the Boston Globe calls for cycle tracks in the city.

DC is installing pocket lanes to help bike riders navigate through intersections to avoid right hooks.

Tragic story from South Carolina, as a 77-year old bike rider died after riding into a ravine; he left a voice mail for his wife saying he’d crashed into a creek bed and needed help, and hung his shirt on a tree branch to signal rescuers, but wasn’t found until it was too late.

A Louisiana cyclist made it about a mile onto the 26-mile Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, which prohibits bicyclists. I threatened to try riding it myself more than once when I live down there, since it would cut the ride to New Orleans down to a few scenic hours.

The Florida cop who accidently shot and killed a 77-year old woman left his previous job after siccing his police dog on a bike rider.

Florida cyclists wisely object to plans to place buffered bike lanes on a six lane divided highway with a 55 mph speed limit.

 

International

Bike Radar asks if you’re a cycling snob.

An off-duty British cop goes beyond the call of duty by stopping a thief and recovering the bike he stole, then using his own car to track down the vacationing Dutch couple it belonged to.

After a Brit bike rider was knocked cold by a hit-and-run driver, paramedics leave him on the side of the road, despite a neck injury and a broken shoulder, telling him to find his own way home.

A BBC TV reporter discusses his long road to recovery after a near-fatal bicycling collision; when he woke from a two-week coma, he thought he was an American race car driver in 1952.

Spend your next bike vacation pedaling through the real Palestine from Tel Aviv through Jericho and Bethlehem to Jerusalem.

 

Finally…

If you can’t fix it with duct tape, it ain’t broken. If you miss not being on your bike, doesn’t that mean you wish you weren’t on it?

And you’ll need to ride a bike for 50 minutes to work off the calories from the new frozen deep-fried Twinkies.

Which seems like as good an excuse as any.

 

BOLO Alert: Bike rider critically injured in North Hills hit-and-run last month; LAPD still looking for witnesses

I’ve just received the following press release from the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division.

Hit and Run Driver Leaves Bicyclist Severely Injured

North Hills:

A hit and run traffic collision involving a motor vehicle and bicyclist occurred on Saturday, July 23, 2016, approximately 5:00 a.m. at Parthenia Street west of Woodley Avenue, in the community of North Hills.

The vehicle was traveling westbound Parthenia Street and collided with the bicycle being ridden by James Mours, a 47 year old resident of Mission Hills. The bicyclist sustained major injuries and was transported by Los Angeles Fire Department personnel to a local hospital for medical treatment. He is still listed in very critical condition.

There is no description of the vehicle or the driver. The Los Angeles Police Department is seeking anyone who may have witnessed the collision.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Valley Traffic Division Officer M. Tucker at (818) 644-8114. The report number is 16 17 13752. During non-business hours or weekends, calls may be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800)-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most key pads) using a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters can also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on “web tips” and follow the prompts.

Let’s get the word out and see if we can get some witnesses to come forward.

Best wishes to James Mours for a full and fast recovery.

Thanks to Officer Troy Williams for the heads-up.

 

Morning Links: Insurance owes squat if a hit-and-run driver misses, more on SB 986, and more kindhearted cops

Bike lawyer and BikinginLA sponsor Josh Cohen uncovers an insurance loophole that victimizes hit-and-run victims a second time.

In a piece he penned for a law journal, Cohen points out that insurance companies aren’t required to pay for hit-and-run crashes caused by drivers if the car doesn’t actually make contact with the victim.

He illustrates it with the story of a bike rider who was forced into a stopped car by an inattentive driver.

The client pulled into the number two lane behind the last car stopped. He intended to pass the bus and vehicles stopped behind it in the number one lane once the traffic light turned green. The light turned green. Suddenly the client heard a car accelerate toward him from behind. The driver behind him did not notice him and was bearing down on him. The driver’s car came within inches of the client. The client took his last clear chance and veered back into the lane to his right. He got injured when he crashed into the stopped car to his right.

The driver of the car that caused the crash recognized he was at fault. He pulled over, took out his driver’s license and insurance card, and waited. An ambulance came and took the client away. The police never came. The offending driver left the scene, rendering the case a hit and run. But not exactly: there was no hit. It was a near-miss and run.

The victim’s insurance company denied his claim under the uninsured motored coverage on his policy, which requires actual physical contact — despite the state’s three-foot passing law.

Cohen says the easy and obvious solution is to remove the physical contact clause from the state’s uninsured motorist statute, saying it places an undue burden on vulnerable users.

Sounds right to me.

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While we’re on the subject of bad laws, a lawyer writing for the prestigious National Law Review warns that careless wording in California’s proposed SB 986 could put pedestrians at risk if drivers are allowed to legally roll through red lights to make right turns. CiclaValley takes up the subject, as well.

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More kindhearted cops.

LA County sheriff’s deputies team up to replace a bike stolen from a 41-year old San Dimas man with Down’s Syndrome. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Minneapolis police arrange for a new bike for a ten-year old boy whose bicycle was stolen by an older kid who punched him in the face.

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Spoiler alert: We’re going to talk about the men’s and women’s road races from the Rio Olympics. So if you still have them on your DVR or waiting to download, skip down to the next section.

Broken-hearted American Mara Abbott just missed a medal as she was caught by three riders within sight of the finish line, as Holland’s Anna van der Breggen took gold.

Abbott had been riding with Annemiek van Vleuten when the Dutch rider suffered a horrific crash; as of Sunday night, van Vleuten was in intensive care with a fractured spine, though Dutch officials said she was okay and conscious.

Belgian cyclist Greg van Avermaet took the gold in the men’s race after leaders Vincenzo Nibali and Sergio Henao hit the pavement less than seven and a half miles from the finish line on the road course’s crappy pavement.

Australian Ritchie Porte is out of the time trial after breaking his shoulder in Saturday’s race, while Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali will have surgery for a broken collarbone. Rwandan team captain Adrien Niyonshuti failed to finish, blaming his bike for the early exit.

Meanwhile, American Andrew Talansky entered the final stage of the Tour of Utah with the lead, but ended up losing the race to Aussie Lachlan Morton.

As Deadspin says, cycling is cruel.

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Local

After years of promises, Wilshire Blvd finally gets new pavement and buffered bike lanes through the Condo Canyon area formerly known as “the gauntlet” for its speeding cars and bad pavement, connecting with the existing one whole block of bike lanes east of Beverly Glen. Odd that we’re told that Westwood Blvd has too much traffic and too many buses for bike lanes, while Wilshire gets bike lanes despite having far more of both.

Fallen cyclist and music teacher Rod Bennett lives on in his music at Santa Clarita’s LA SummerFest, even if no one showed up to listen.

Long Beach plans for greater density, sidewalks and bike lanes along an industrial stretch of PCH.

An 18-year old Long Beach man could be 26 before he rides a bike again after using his in a string of cellphone thefts.

 

State

A Redlands couple are halfway through a 10,000 mile tandem ride around the US.

After a 21-year old Chico woman was killed riding her bike, her parents find a bucket list in her bedroom and decide to live it out for her.

 

National

Bicycling talks with President Obama’s bike commuting chief of staff.

Missed this one last week, as CNN says distracted driving goes way beyond mere texting. Thanks to Victor Bank for the link.

A competitor in the Boulder CO Ironman was killed when she was struck by a car during the bicycling portion of the race. The course was not closed to motor vehicles, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to look up and see there’s a damn race going on. Thanks to Penny Sputh for the tip.

A Denver bike cop credits his helmet with saving his life when he was run down by a driver who was having a seizure nearly two years ago; the driver got six years in a halfway house for failing to disclose his condition when applying for a driver’s license.

One of the benefits of putting cops on bikes is their ability to respond quickly, as demonstrated by the El Paso bike cops who arrested a bank robber while he was still at the teller window.

Cyclists ride outside the White House to “bike around the bomb” on the 71st anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing; they were joined by people riding around the Sepulveda basin here in LA.

 

International

An Edmonton, Canada bike rider accepts an apology from the driver who got out of his car to hurl a racial slur. Somehow, we’re all expected to believe the man was deeply remorseful, and not just trying to prove to the world he’s not really a racist after the video went viral. Not to mention avoid prosecution.

Caught on video: A London cyclist somehow manages to ignore the driver hurling obscenity-laced abuse at him.

Caught on video too: Another London bike rider learns the hard way not to splash water in the face of a driver he was arguing with, when the driver swerves into him and forces him into oncoming traffic. Similar to my greatest lesson, which was never flip off the driver behind you. For reasons which should be painfully obvious, and for which I still have the scars.

One Direction’s Harry Styles is one of us, as he takes to the streets of London on a classic Raleigh tri bike.

An Indian writer says bike commuting hasn’t caught on because owning a car is a symbol of moving from poverty into the middle class in the developing country.

An Israeli reporter asks the US State Department if Israel should pay a Palestinian girl $100 for the bicycle that border guards took from her and tossed into the bushes. Seriously, is this even a question? Just buy the girl a new bike, already.

Aussie motorcyclists are beating traffic by illegally using suburban bike paths, putting bicyclists and pedestrians at risk.

An Australian paper says new studies suggest being visible is less important than whether drivers are actively looking for people on bikes, giving more support to the safety in numbers theory.

Once again, police crack down on the victims, as Hong Kong police respond to recent bicycling deaths by chasing down law breaking bike riders.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to get high and shitfaced drunk, try not to stop your bicycle in the middle of a traffic lane in front of a school bus. Pro cyclists may not have better legs than you do, just better brains.

And no, you can’t actually live tweet an Olympic road race while you’re competing in it.

 

Redlands bike rider killed in Meade Valley hit-and-run

It’s happened again.

Yet another bike rider has been left to die on the side of the road by a murderous coward.

In a story that flew under the radar earlier this week, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported that an unidentified cyclist had been killed in a hit-and-run Sunday night.

According to the paper, the CHP was attempting to identify the victim, who was apparently struck from behind while riding west on Cajalco Road west of Wood Road in Meade Valley; however, Google Maps places that location in Perris, instead. No word on the time of the collision.

The driver fled the scene without stopping. Police are looking for the driver of a 2008-2014 Ford car with front end damage on the passenger side, with a possible broken headlight.

The victim was identified today as Duane Darling, a member of the Redlands Water Bottle Transit Company, a recreational bike club based in Redlands. He was reportedly on a 60-mile ride when he was killed.

No other information is available at this time.

A street view shows a two lane, undivided highway with a shoulder on each side; there would have been nowhere to go if he had seen or heard the car coming up behind him.

Anyone with information with information is urged to call CHP investigators at 951/901-8401, or the Riverside office at 951/637-8000.

Once they find the driver, he — or she — should face a second-degree murder charge for making a conscious decision to leave the victim to die.

This is the 50th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in Riverside County; that compares with 41 in SoCal this time last year, and four in the County.

If the crash did occur in Perris, it is the fourth fatal bike collision in the city in the last 36 months.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Duane Darling and all his friends and lived ones.

Thanks to Dorothy Wong and Lester Walters for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Hit-and-runs rising, wife of fallen PVE cyclist John Bacon speaks out, and soda for a cause

This is what you call a teaser.

Amateur bike statistician Ed Ryder has done another deep dive into bike collision data, preparing reports on the national and state level, with local data still in the works.

We’ll take a look at some of his findings next week.

But meanwhile, here’s a preview of what’s to come.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Following a meeting with a local legislator’s office to discuss changing the law to stop hit-and-runs in the state this past week, they asked for stats to back up the need for changes.

So at my request, Ed graciously stopped what he was doing, and produced the following chart to demonstrate just how bad the problem is here in California.

As you can see, hit-and-runs have risen significantly after dropping to a low of nearly 68,000 in 2013, down from over 100,000 in the last decade.

But as the overall collision rate has dropped, hit-and-runs have increased dramatically as a percentage of all reported crashes, with nearly 20% of drivers statewide fleeing the scene following a crash.

Something has to change.

Because current law clearly isn’t enough to get drivers to stick around.

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Speaking of hit-and-run, KCBS-2 offers a heartbreaking report on the hit-and-run death of bike rider John Bacon in Palos Verdes Estates in May.

His wife struggles to talk about her loss, describing him as “a strong, silent type, a very kind and generous, loving person,” as well as an experienced cyclist who lost his life just going on a bike ride.

Over two months later, police still haven’t made an arrest, despite security camera video showing a white pickup truck following just feet from Bacon’s wheel.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has strongly criticized the PVE police for a lackadaisical approach to the investigation, failing to even respond when a bike rider initially spotted the suspect vehicle.

Bacon’s family is urging the drivers and bicyclists who passed by shortly after the crash to come forward and describe what they saw, so they can finally get some justice in the case.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

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Pink Bike reports on efforts to allow bicycles to return to US Wilderness Areas, which may finally be on the brink of success. Write your Congressional representatives to urge their support.

Thanks to Byron Smith for the link.

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Support bikes and a good cause at the same time.

Galco’s Old World Grocery on York Blvd in Highland Park is hosting a Summer Soda Tasting to help save the Southwest Museum.

However, the store’s owner has fought the highly successful road diet that has helped revitalize York Blvd, as well as the bike lanes that run in front of his store. And still refuses to install bike racks, insisting that his customers don’t get there by bicycle.

Let’s prove him wrong.

Ride your bike to the soda tasting, and as friendly and politely as possible, let them know how you got there. Even if it’s just resting your helmet on the counter as you check out.

They’ll get the message.

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Pro racing teams are objecting to a requirement that every team has to participate in all 27 UCI top-level WorldTour events.

Three Russian riders are out, and another three are being probed over doping reports in advance of the Rio Olympics.

Everyone’s trying to get a technical edge in Rio. The US has high-tech bikes with the gearing on the wrong side, while the Brits are lubing their chains with nanotubes.

Cycling Weekly asks if bike racing is the toughest sport, while Cycling Tips explores whether team budgets equal racing success. Short answer, yes. To both.

A Claremont Paralympic cyclist is raising funds to compete in Rio next month; born with a congenital foot defect, Samantha Bosco plans to compete in the 3k individual pursuit and 500-meter race, as well as the road race and time trial. You can contribute to her efforts through her gofundme account.

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Local

Walkup rentals for Downtown’s Metro Bike bikeshare begin on Monday; the program kicks off with a discount rate of $1.75 per half hour through October 1st.

CiclaValley joins with Victor Boyce and Ron Meyer to discuss the ten most essential climbs in Los Angeles, the Tour de France, and the state of bicycling in the East Valley. Although the most essential climb is really just climbing onto your bike for a ride.

LA Rams quarterback Case Keenum arrived at training camp on his wife’s borrowed bicycle, claiming it was the first time he’d been on a bike since he was 12 years old.

Meg Ryan’s directorial debut centers on the life of a young bike messenger during World War II, based on William Saroyan’s book The Human Comedy.

 

State

A 17-year old Irvine student organized a 450-mile, five day fundraising ride to benefit victims of modern slavery and human trafficking; the ride ends Saturday in Laguna Beach.

Police are searching for the hit-and-run driver who injured a woman riding her bike in National City Wednesday night.

Bike SD reports on the network of cycle tracks coming to downtown San Diego.

Construction will begin this February on a bicycle boulevard through Menlo Park. Although it sounds more like just a buffered bike lane.

A jury concludes a pair of Los Altos deputies used excessive force in confronting a driver during a traffic stop, which began when she didn’t pull over for a patrol car — because she didn’t want to run over the bicyclists in the bike lane next to her.

Hundreds of toddlers will converge on San Francisco to race balance bikes. Am I the only one who has a problem with kids as young as 18 months competing against each other? Although I’d love to see the podium girls for this one.

 

National

US Congress Members tell the Department of Transportation to measure the movement of people, however they travel, rather than just cars.

Vogue talks to a model/bike lifestyle company owner about on how to look chic on your bike.

Nevada will break ground this summer on a $30 million bike and pedestrian pathway around Lake Tahoe.

A Denver area man is under arrest for sabotaging a popular bike route by spreading thumb tacks over the roadway; he faces possible misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.

Outside says 23-year old Colorado native Howard Grotts is the best American mountain biker in a generation.

A Dallas cyclist created a popular weekly crit to combat the elitist image of local bike racers.

A former Iowa mayor says cyclists should stay on a bike trail instead of the roadway, and have to register and license their bikes if they want to ride on the street.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d shoot a nine-year old Wisconsin boy in the face with a BB gun while he was riding his bike back to his lemonade stand.

A 10-year old Connecticut boy is asking for 1,000 veterans and emergency responders to sign his BMX bike; so far he’s up to 780 signatures with room for more.

NY Streetsblog says cyclists need protection from drivers, not from themselves, even if the NYPD seems to disagree. Meanwhile, the city’s influential Transportation Alternatives advocacy group says the city isn’t doing enough to crack down on driver behavior that threatens people walking and riding bikes.

A passing bike rider talks a possible jumper off New York’s George Washington Bridge.

A Connecticut man is suing New York’s Citi Bike for the head injury he suffered falling off one of the bikeshare bikes, on the grounds that the city didn’t require users to wear a helmet. On the other hand, nothing says he couldn’t have used one on his own without being forced to.

Charlotte NC mourns the death of a “human landmark;” the 73-year old developmentally disabled woman was famous in the city for riding her bike for hours while dressed in orange.

Bighearted Florida sheriff’s deputies donate an unclaimed bike to a hardworking teenager who had no other form of transportation.

 

International

Cycling Industry News lists 20 key cities where mode share for bicycling is growing. Needless to say, Los Angeles is not on the list; Atlanta is the only US city to make the cut.

The CBC says despite recent breakthroughs, there’s still a lot we don’t know about the physics of bicycling.

Winnipeg cyclists say injuries will keep increasing along with ridership until the city gets some decent bike infrastructure.

Kindhearted Manitoba, Canada residents step up after a woman posted a profanity-laced poster asking for her stolen bike back; as many as 50 people have offered to replace it for her.

After getting knocked off her bike, a Toronto reporter says it’s time to rise above road rage and the mentality that cars are the king of the road.

A Brit bike rider is fined £400 — the equivalent of $527 — for blowing a red light; a local safety advocate says cyclists going through red lights poses more danger to themselves than anyone else, which is confirmed by a police report showing no injuries have been caused by red light-running bicyclists.

A London driver allegedly targeted cyclists riding in a bike lane by deliberately running several riders off the road, then getting out and stomping on the cellphone when one of the victims tried to call the police. Yet police describe it simply as a “dispute” between a cyclist and two men in a car.

Tel Aviv builds a multi-million shekel network of bikeways for adaptive riders, allowing handicapped cyclists to take to the trails.

 

Finally…

If you’re using a bicycle as your getaway vehicle, drop the flat screen and take the guns. If you’re going to burglarize cars after dark, put some damn lights on your bike and watch our for cameras.

And every time you ride your bike, you can be grateful you’re not stuck on the nation’s worst highway from hell.

Although it makes you wonder just what the best highway from hell must be like.

 

Morning Links: New law should make hit-and-run vehicles easier to identify, and LA gets new cold brew coffee bike

Finally.

In a big step forward in the fight against hit-and-run drivers, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill requiring all motor vehicles sold in the state to have temporary license plates when they roll off the lot.

Currently, drivers only have to display a small bill of sale, which can’t be read at a distance to identify a driver trying to flee the scene, or report them to the police for some other reason.

However, the question is whether the law will also apply to cars leased by brokers, where the actual title of the vehicle isn’t transferred, and drivers therefore aren’t required to register them. Which explains why you see so many expensive cars without license plates.

While the Times reports that consumer and civil rights advocates fear disaster when the law goes into effect in 2019, similar laws have been in effect in other states for decades without the sky falling.

Including Colorado, where I grew up and drove a number of cars with temporary plates until the regular license plates arrived in the mail, without incident.

Thanks to Lila Kalaf for the heads-up.

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The Wall Street Journal asks if the Tour de France needs a financial fix to keep rich teams from dominating the race, as Team Sky did this year. Thanks to George Wolfberg for the link.

Sports Illustrated says the US women’s track cycling team should have an edge in the Rio Olympics, thanks to their new high-tech bicycles with the gearing on the left side.

Columbian cyclist Nairo Quintana pulls out of the Rio Olympics due to illness.

A Canadian Paralympian gets one of her two stolen bikes back in time for the Rio games.

Brit cyclist Emma Pooley says she ain’t gonna shake hands with no damn Russians if she wins gold in Rio. Wait, not even this one?

………

Local

LA is about to get a new cold brew coffee dispensing bike cart from a new Boyle Heights coffee company. Correction: I originally wrote this was the first coffee bike like this, but I was reminded this morning that The Wheelhouse has a coffee bike, and Bicycle Coffee has a bike at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market every week.

Downtown News names DTLA Bikes Downtown’s best bike shop; Just Ride LA was the runner-up. Speaking of which, Just Ride LA will host the LACBC’s next Sunday Funday ride on August 7th.

A Glendale street gets fresh Kermit with a 1.3 mile green bike lane on Sonora Ave.

A Pomona man accepts a plea of life without parole for murdering his girlfriend; he was arrested two days later while riding his bike, still carrying the bloody knife. Note: The story contains gruesome details of the crime, which you may not want to know. I’m still trying to get that image out of my head.

 

State

San Diego’s troubled bikeshare system may finally be getting new docking stations, even as efforts continue to remove to successful stations from the Pacific Beach boardwalk.

Double bad luck. After a Bakersfield bike rider suffers a broken leg in a hit-and-run, police say he was high at the time of the crash. And yes, biking under the influence is illegal in California.

The handlebar-mustachioed San Francisco Critical Mass rider who attacked a Zipcar with his bike lock got off with time served and three years probation.

Streetsblog offers photos from Oakland’s Pedalfest.

A Rio Linda cyclist was killed when he allegedly swerved into the path of a car; his riding partner was injured when the force of the crash knocked him into her.

 

National

The LA Times recommends a handful of backroads bike tours up and down the West Coast.

High times indeed. Writers for a marijuana magazine take a dope bike tour of the Left Coast.

An 81-year old Denver woman mysteriously dies just days after killing a 14-year old boy and seriously injuring his friend as they stood in a bike lane. After receiving news of her death, authorities magnanimously dropped all charges against her, rather than propping her up in the defendant’s chair before a jury of her peers.

Iowa’s governor says he plans to address traffic safety and bicycling fatalities in the next legislative session. Meanwhile, California’s current governor doesn’t seem to have even noticed the carnage on our streets.

A Boston bike rider got her stolen bike back after spotting it on Craigslist.

Evidently, a ten minute discussion of bike lanes by the Charlotte NC city council was too much for impatient Black Lives Matter activists in the audience.

Atlanta gets the nation’s first bidirectional bike intersection to accommodate two intersecting cycle tracks.

 

International

That’s one way to boost bike sales. Canadian bike shops are seeing an increase in sales from people buying bicycles to play Pokémon Go.

An Icelandic psychology professor says to go easy on the caffeine. They’ll get my oversized coffee mug when they pry it out of my cold, dead fingers.

Caught on video: A British cyclist catches the crash on his helmet cam when a driver pulls out in front of him during a high-speed descent.

Police in the UK are looking for a jerk on a bike who punched a woman driver in the face. Seriously, there’s never any excuse for violence, no matter what the driver did to piss you off. Although at least he had the courtesy to knock first.

A new Norwegian study says you’re safer riding in the summer months when more bike riders are out, because the safety in numbers effect really is true.

Does a backward letter reflect a backward approach to Aussie bike infrastructure?

Life is cheap in Singapore, where a taxi driver gets just two weeks in jail and a four year driving ban for fatally right-hooking a cyclist.

 

Finally…

Caught on video, too: Close calls don’t get any closer than this. Now you can finally build that Airstream-style DIY bicycle trailer you’ve always wanted.

And we may have to deal with piggish drivers, but actual pigs? Not so much.

 

Update: Long Beach bike rider killed in Saturday morning hit-and-run by driver of stolen car

KNBC-4 reported Saturday morning that a woman was killed in a hit-and-run wreck while riding her bicycle early that morning.

The collision occurred around 1:20 am in the 400 block of East Market Street.

According to an article posted today by the Long Beach Gazettes, the victim, who was not publicly named, was riding westbound with a friend in the center median on Market when she was struck by a speeding car.

Emergency personnel found her lying unconscious in the eastbound lane; she was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The driver was illegally passing another car when he or she struck the victim’s bike from behind before fleeing the scene.

Police later found the vehicle, a 2013 Kia Optima, abandoned 5300 block of Atlantic Avenue. The car, which had a smashed windshield and major front end damage, had been reported stolen in a carjacking the day before.

There’s no word on why the couple were riding in the painted center lane instead of in the traffic lane, where they presumably would have been protected by the car that was being passed.

Police are looking for four people who were reportedly in the the stolen car at the time of the crash. Anyone with information is urged to call Long Beach collision investigations detective Brian Watt at 562/570-5520; tips can also be reported online at www.lacrimestoppers.org.

This is the 48th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and 20th in Los Angeles County. And it’s at least the tenth fatal bike crash in Long Beach since 2010.

Update: The victim has been identified only as a white woman in her 40s, pending notification of next of kin.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and her loved ones.

Morning Links: First bikeshare station hits ground in DTLA; five bicyclists dead in horrific Michigan crash

Bikeshare really is coming to Los Angeles.

The first Metro Bike station has been installed at Union Station, the first of 65 planned for Downtown LA, with the system is scheduled to open on July 7th.

And hopefully, Pasadena, Hollywood and other areas throughout LA County in the not-too-distant future.

Although bicycling infrastructure has to catch up outside the Downtown area to provide a safe place to ride those bikes. Especially in Hollywood.

So who will be the first to come up with a good nickname for the system, like London’s Boris Bikes? Somehow, Eric Bikes just doesn’t have the same ring.

………

Horrific news from Michigan, as a Kalamazoo driver is under arrest for literally running away after plowing into a group of nine bicyclists.

The driver was reportedly operating his truck in erratic manner, nearly running over a bystander’s foot before he smashed into the riders from behind, killing five and injuring the other four, at least one critically.

He fled on foot following the crash, but was arrested a short distance away. Police had received calls about his dangerous driving for nearly 30 minutes before the collision.

Initial reports indicated some of the victims may be children, but later stories suggested it was a group of adults that frequently ride together.

There simply are no words to express the gut-wrenching heartbreak and tragedy of this needless disaster.

Thanks to Brenda Miller, Al Williams and Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

………

Pro cyclist Tom Danielson says his positive drug test is consistent with a contaminated supplement. Of course, after similar denials from Lance, Lloyd and Alberto, et al, any explanation begs credibility, truthful or not.

Meanwhile, human rights groups urge bike racing’s governing body to reject an application for a WorldTour license for the Bahrain Cycling Team, headed by a Bahraini prince accused of torture.

………

Local

LA County residents show strong support for funding bike and walking projects.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton says the Expo Phase II bike path will be great if they ever finish it and get some badly needed signage.

Bernie Sanders crashed Sunday’s Coast ciclovía in Santa Monica, which celebrated the new Expo Line extension and Colorado Esplanade.

A Ride of Silence will be held this Saturday in honor of Rod Bennett, killed by a hit-and-run driver in Santa Clarita last month.

Empact Communities says protected bike lanes are coming to North Long Beach.

 

State

A Santa Ana woman shakes off a bike crash that left her in the hospital for two days in order to cast her vote for Sanders; thanks to David Wolfberg for the link.

The Central Valley’s NPR station says Fresno is safe for cyclists. Sort of.

With the outrage over the lenient sentence given a Stanford student for the rape of an unconscious woman, it’s worth noting that the rape was stopped, and the fleeing rapist caught, by a pair of bicyclists.

 

National

Sports Illustrated discovers gravel grinding.

How to plan an overnight bike trip for beginners.

Trek offers scholarships for women bike mechanics and assembly technicians.

More bighearted cops, as Texas police officers take up a collection to replace a boy’s stolen bicycle.

A red bicycle festooned with ribbons hangs as a memorial to Muhammad Ali over the former Louisville auditorium where his bike was stolen as a 12-year old, which set him on the path that would eventually make him The Greatest.

Bikeshare is coming to Buffalo NY this summer.

The New York Post says the fastest way across Midtown Manhattan is on two wheels, while a Staten Island writer bemoans those lawless cyclists who put innocent drivers at risk.

Two women who founded a New York-based shoe maker make their deliveries via the city’s Citi Bike bikeshare system.

A Philadelphia writer artfully dissects a paranoid anti-bike screed from a representative of the National Motorists Association, which serves to maintain automotive hegemony on our streets and preserve motorists’ right to keep killing people.

 

International

A Winnipeg cyclist catches an average of one close call on his GoPro every one and a half days.

A new London smartphone app automatically emails the city’s mayor whenever a cyclist presses a Bluetooth enabled button upon encountering a dangerous situation. We could use something like that here, but the sheer volume of emails would probably crash the City Hall server.

London’s Telegraph suggests ten cycling vacations that will make you a better bike rider.

New Zealand community members called for making Hi-Viz mandatory for bike-riding students after two were hit by cars six years ago. Because no one can expect drivers to actually pay attention to who might be on the road with them, right?

 

Finally…

If you’re going to trespass on someone else’s property by riding over to hug a big friendly dog, ask your mom for permission first. At least we only have to deal with angry LA drivers, and not road raging elephants.

And for everyone who wants to ride a bicycle for a living, how about spending all day biking around killing mosquitos?

Note to the Midland Daily News: Why the hell would anyone be alarmed by a bike rider in a fluorescent T-shirt, anyway?

 

Morning Links: Bike collisions down across LA, hit-and-runs up in IE, and special offer on a new lighted backpack

How about some good news for a change?

According to LAPD statistics presented at yesterday’s bike liaison meeting, bike-involved collisions are down dramatically throughout Los Angeles compared to this time last year.

  • 49% reduction in bike collisions in the Valley Traffic Division, with serious injuries down 83%
  • 18% reduction in bike collisions in the Central Traffic Division
  • 30% reduction in bike collision in the South Traffic Division
  • No stats were available from West Traffic.

No reason was given for the sudden improvement in bike safety; as one officer said, it might just be luck.

But it’s a good way to start the year.

………

Meanwhile, things aren’t looking as good in the Inland Empire.

Hit-and-run collisions involving pedestrians are up 73% in San Bernardino County and 51% in Riverside County over the last five years, while hit-and-runs involving cyclists are up 34% and 40%, respectively.

………

An Anaheim bike rider was critically injured in a collision while crossing South Beach Blvd Thursday evening.

Let’s all hope he’s okay.

………

I’m normally not a big fan of the visibility arms race, in which it seems like every rider has to outdo everyone else to capture the attention of drivers.

But this new backpack seems like a great idea.

The Bluetooth-enabled Aster backpack from India’s Lumos Design Technology, currently raising funds on Indiegogo, lights up the night with side and rear LED lights, as well as forward white lights on the front straps. Not to mention turn indicators and automatic brake lights.

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It also functions as a commuter backpack, unfolding completely to provide easy access to your stuff, while offering helmet and U-lock holders, and a detachable shoe compartment.

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And it was designed for use in the US, and product tested right here in California, with feedback from 50 or so riders from the Bay Area.

As a special offer for BikinginLA readers, the first person to pledge at least $75 on the Aster Indiegogo page will also get their Lumos Thrillseeker Solar Daypack, designed to convert sunlight into electricity to charge your USB devices while you ride. Just include “BikinginLA” in the comments when you make your pledge.

But remember, this offer is limited to the first person to make a $75 or higher pledge; there’s no way of knowing if someone may have beaten you to it.

………

Local

The LACBC’s Eric Bruins says that as planned, Metro’s proposed transportation tax increase will “build a fantastic system that people won’t feel safe walking and biking to.”

CiclaValley recaps Wednesday’s Traffic Safety Summit in Valley Village.

The LA River is slowly coming back to life in the San Fernando Valley, with plans for a walkway on one side and a bike path on the other.

Monrovia police bust a hit-and-run driver who left a cyclist with minor injuries. Thanks to DreamWaveDave for the link.

The lead guitarist for the band Pennywise is suing Uber after he was doored while riding in Hermosa Beach last year; the passengers stayed to help, but the driver fled.

Bike-friendly Long Beach wants to extend bicycle improvements to the city’s Southeast Area.

The Armenian Youth Federation’s annual Cycle Against Denial will be held in Santa Monica for the first time on April 10th; the event marking the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide had previously been held in the San Fernando Valley.

 

State

San Diego horses can be trained to share trails with bicycles, unlike the ones that use Burbank’s Mariposa bridge, apparently. Maybe they have smarter horses down there.

Temecula’s Sarah Hammer is the first American cyclist to qualify for the Rio Olympics; the multiple silver medal winner hopes her third Olympics will bring gold. Although she may have trouble winning anything if they don’t get the track installed in time.

The OC Register suggests a two-wheeled wine tasting tour through the Santa Barbara wine country.

A Contra Costa county bike rider is under arrest for randomly hitting and blocking people on a local pedestrian pathway.

Sunnyvale’s mayor accepts a student’s challenge to ride a bike to a local high school, and sees first hand what students have to deal with.

San Francisco’s red transit lanes are forcing cyclists out of the right lane and into traffic.

After a speeding tour bus driver crashed into pedestrians and a cyclist in a crowded San Francisco neighborhood, injuring 19 people, police basically say “oops.”

Fremont becomes the latest California city to adopt a Vision Zero plan, while Daly City considers it.

Someone must not like mountain bikers in Folsom Lake. Three riders were forced to take cover when bullets flew over their heads, even after they called out to stop shooting.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on riding during your period. Or maybe gel for your hoo ha would help.

Treehugger says the cargo bike is the new family car.

The Department of DIY strikes in Portland, as someone puts up fake speed limit signs saying 20 is plenty.

A Washington bike commuter suggests it’s your own damn fault if you get hit by a car if you’re wearing dark clothes and not using lights.

Police in my hometown finally make an arrest in the case of the courteous hit-and-run driver who apparently moved a bike and backpack to the curb, but left his victim lying in the street.

A protected bike lane in Nebraska suffers $2,500 in damages when a wrong-way driver plows into the concrete divider. On the other hand, without it, that could have been a bike rider.

When a Pennsylvania man walked over to the local police station to see if they’d found his stolen bike, a bighearted cop dipped into his own pocket to buy him a new one. Thanks to Mike Bike for the heads-up from his home town.

 

International

Bike Radar looks at ambitious mountain bike products that failed big time.

Folding bike maker Brompton calculates it costs the equivalent of $62 a month to store a bike in your London home. Not that you have a London home, of course. And not like they have a vested interest in suggesting you might want a bike that takes up less space.

A British cyclist is riding 1,400 miles across England to collect signatures for the Queen’s birthday card.

A new Irish study says the perception that you’re only riding a bike because you can’t afford a car is slowing efforts to get people out of theirs.

 

Finally…

When police can’t identify the vehicle a piece of plastic came from, the Internet can. If you take your imaginary friend for a ride, does he need his own bike?

And if you’re going to flee the scene after a drunken wreck, maybe it’s best not to be painted gold from head to toe.

 

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