Tag Archive for Kalamazoo MI

Morning Links: 40 years behind bars for drug-fueled Kalamazoo massacre, and new ways to drive distracted

Forty years.

That’s the minimum sentence the driver convicted of the Kalamazoo massacre will serve, after being convicted in the drug-fueled death of five bicyclists, and injuring four others.

Charles Pickett Jr. was sentenced to 40 to 75 years behind bars, meaning he’ll be at least 92 when he gets out if he serves his full sentence.

But at least Pickett said he sorry.

“I’ll live with this the rest of my life. I would give my life for the people I murdered, killed and maimed and everything else and I just want to say I’m sorry,” he said, wiping away tears.

The judge wasn’t having any of it, though.

The judge called Pickett’s apology “woefully inadequate,” saying that until that point, he didn’t appear remorseful for his actions. The judge also pointed out Pickett had many opportunities to stop driving before he hit the cyclists, but didn’t.

At least one survivor said his tearful apology was pretty underwhelming.

Yes, alcoholism and drug addiction are diseases. But driving under the influence is a choice.

One that can have devastating consequences for innocent people on the roads.

As well as the not-so-innocent people behind the wheel.

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Just what we need. Another way for people to be distracted behind the wheel.

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Local

As usual, the LA Times gets it, saying e-scooters aren’t a scourge, they’re a solution. And says Elon Musk is going to destroy Los Angeles in a dumb attempt to save it.

LA Taco looks at the arrest of Mariah Kandise Banks in the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier in South LA, and the low rent attempted coverup that followed.

CiclaValley watches the Nichols Ride again, but gets some great photos in the process. And he has a good excuse for not riding.

 

State

Laguna Beach police conducted their annual Road Safety Expo to help stop bike and pedestrian deaths; they focused on the dangers of distracted driving, as well a bicycling and walking skills.

The people behind anti-road diet group Keep LA Moving continue to export their traffic safety denial program, this time taking up shop to halt safety improvements in Tustin. Credit Peter Flax with the link.

Ocean Beach planners approve a concept for parking protected bike lanes along West Point Loma Avenue.

A San Diego girl was lucky to escape with a bruised leg after she was hit by a turning car while allegedly riding salmon.

After a successful trial, NorCal’s Caltrain is expanding a program allowing bicycle riders to board bike cars first to make boarding more efficient.

Sad news from the Tahoe area, where a man was killed when a driver veered right into his bicycle.

 

National

This is who we share the roads with. A Minnesota motorist fleeing from police plowed into a playground, critically injuring two small children, as well as injuring their brother.

Akron OH looks to Copenhagen for inspiration on how to become bike friendly.

Massachusetts police can’t figure out who’s responsible for a road rage incident, so they just charge everyone (scroll down).

New York drivers can’t seem to figure out that they don’t go when the bicycle-shaped traffic signal turns green.

 

International

A film critic offers seven anecdotes marking the 15th anniversary of the bike-themed The Triplets of Belleville. And if you haven’t seen it, what the hell are you waiting for?

Talk about not getting it. Ontario, Canada police release a bike safety video, telling bicyclists to ride a far right as possible — even when there are sharrows on the street.

After a Nova Scotia man traded his car for a bicycle, he hopes a revised vehicle code will finally treat bike riders and drivers equally. And he’s not the only one.

Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize fame does a little bicycle myth busting in the Guardian.

According to The Atlantic, bakfiets — aka cargo bikes — are the new symbol of gentrification in the Netherlands, as upscale white mothers take to two or three wheels in place of the family minivan.

Reporting from the Netherlands, People for Bikes says the Dutch ride a lot, but don’t go far.

Uber’s Jump e-bikeshare service has made its first foray into Europe, landing in Berlin following a botched entry with their carshare service.

Australian site The Conversation discusses how traffic signals are designed to favor cars and discourage walking.

 

Competitive Cycling

Canada may be getting close to legalizing marijuana, but it remains banned for cyclists under international doping rules. Seriously, has a little weed ever enhanced a cyclist’s performance? It usually has the opposite effect. Or so I’ve heard.

VeloNews recounts competitors tales from the recent 206-mile Dirty Kanza gravel race.

Twenty-seven-year old Aussie BMX champ Caroline Buchanan will compete in Texas later this month, just six months after a serious crash nearly ended her career. And her life.

 

Finally…

At least someone’s fixing potholes. Advice for your first naked bike ride.

And she didn’t just marry into royalty, she married into cycling.

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Thanks to Mark H for his generous support of this site.

Morning Links: Storm City Hall for safer streets on May 18th, and killer Kalamazoo driver convicted of murder

As the great prophet Howard Beale once said, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

And I’m willing to march on City Hall by myself if that’s what it takes.

I’ve spent the last several weeks trying, and failing, to get support from LA advocacy groups for a plan for bike riders and pedestrians to storm city hall on Bike to Work Day this month to demand safer streets.

While I understand their need for campaigns and strategic planning, too many people are dying right now. And too many city councilmembers are backing away from the promises we were made.

So if this isn’t the right time for action, when is?

As I struggled with my own anger over the recent rash of bicycling fatalities and fatal hit-and-runs, I kept coming back to the questions of if not me, then who? And if not now, when?

Do we wait until someone else dies? Or twenty more people?

Do we wait until the next road diet is cancelled by councilmembers caving to angry drivers and traffic safety deniers?

And when is the right time to demand demand safer streets? As the Chinese proverb famously says, the best time would have been 20 years ago.

The second best time is now.

It’s my intention to give the mayor and every member of the council a copy of Profiles in Courage and Do The Right Thing, and see if they get the message. If we can raise just $400 in the next week to cover the costs, I’ll do it.

Besides, we only need another $375, thanks to a donation from Douglas M to get things started.

But either way, I’m going to be there on May 18th, even if that means standing alone before the city council.

Because something needs to be done now.

I hope you’ll join me. And help spread the word, so we can get as many people as possible to show up that day.

And I hope you’ll consider making a contribution to help send a message to the council that it’s time to show a little courage and do the right thing.

Update: I’ve been reminded that the LA City Council doesn’t meet on Thursdays, so doing this on Bike to Work Day won’t work. 

The question is whether it’s better do storm city hall on Tuesday, May 15th after the Blessing of the Bicycles, Wednesday the 16th before the Ride of Silence, or Friday the 18th before Bike Night at Union Station.

So what works better for you? Let me know in the comments below.

Update 2: It looks like Friday, May 18th works for more people. So that’s the day we’re storming City Hall.

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Guilty.

In a verdict that shouldn’t surprise anyone, the driver responsible for the Kalamazoo massacre has been convicted on five counts of second degree murder for killing five bike riders in a drug-driven 2016 crash, and injuring another four.

Charles Pickett Jr. was also convicted of five counts of causing death while driving under the influence, after allegedly popping a handful of pain pills before getting behind the wheel. In addition, he had meth in his system as well as alcohol at the time of the crash.

Pickett now faces a possible life sentence when he’s sentenced next month.

A well-deserved one.

Thanks to Adam Ginsberg for the heads-up.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

In a heartbreaking story, a writer looks at the devastating effects of a Texas hit-and-run.

Boston magazine offers an in-depth examination of the events leading up to the death of a brilliant surgeon when she was right hooked by a truck driver while riding to work. And the police investigation that went out of its way to blame the victim.

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Local

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joined with other mayors around the world to issue a Commitment to Green and Healthy Streets, envisioning “a future where walking, cycling, and shared transport are how the majority of citizens move around our cities.” However, as Streetsblog points out, it takes more than lip service to be a climate mayor. It will be very hard for LA to live up to that commitment as long as city councilmembers are free to cancel safety and Complete Streets projects to appease angry drivers.

Streetsblog examines the dangers faced by many bike riders on the streets that go well beyond traffic safety. Like the 14-year old bike rider gunned down in a quiet Azusa neighborhood yesterday.

 

State

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) will relaunch their Go Human campaign throughout their six-county region for Bike Month.

Celebrate Bike Month with ten bike trails within ten miles of Morro Bay.

 

National

NACTO presents a nationwide study of bikeshare in the US; while docked bikes outnumber dockless bikes 56% to 44%, only 4% of the actual trips are taken by dockless bikeshare. Something that’s likely to change as dockless bikeshare matures in this country.

In an absolutely brilliant move — sarcasm intendedVista Outdoor responds to the recent boycott by bike retailers over the AR-15 rifles made by one of their subsidiaries by deciding to stop selling guns. And get those darn bike people off their backs by getting rid of their bicycling equipment divisions, as well.

You can now control your LED-lighted Lumos bike helmet with your Apple watch, assuming you have either one. Or buy them both at your friendly neighborhood Apple Store if you don’t.

NPR looks at the LaneSpotter app, which allows users to flag problems with bikeways in real time, like a WAZE for bike riders.

Building bamboo bikes in Oahu.

A Portland nonprofit intends to collect 1,000 bicycles in a single day to refurbish and donate to kids in need.

A Washington sheriff’s deputy says police have to actually observe a traffic violation, such as a violation of the three-foot passing law, in order to write a ticket. Unfortunately, the law is no different here in California.

A Seattle website says the ebike craze has become a verifiable movement in the city.

A Spokane WA bike commuter compares bicyclists to the NRA, and says some bike riders in the city are just jerks. Bicyclists are human, some humans are jerks. Therefore, some bicyclists will inevitably be jerks. Just like some drivers and pedestrians. 

Forget protein bars. Austin TX bike riders get free tacos for breakfast on Bike to Work Day.

Houston residents are calling for changes after two people are killed in the same spot while riding bikes in the last two years; a crowdfunding campaign raised $15,000 to send the latest victim’s body back to India.

Evanston IL city aldermen reject a call to remove a parking-protected bike lane, after a female alderman — alderperson? — calls them “an absolute disaster at rush hour.”

Speaking of Evanston, a local man discovers how it feels when his bike has a starring role in a police chase.

New York council members call on the mayor to stop the city’s ridiculous ebike ban, and talk with the food delivery riders who use them to develop new rules.

 

International

Cycling Industry News considers why the bike industry has such a hard time catching counterfeiters. Which is why you should always buy from a reputable source; any deal that seems too good to be true probably is.

An Ottawa TV station says people are taking to bicycles and ebikes to fight rising gas prices.

Cambridge, England council candidates consider calls to ban parents from driving their kids to school. Unlike the US, where schools attempt to ban kids from biking or walking to class.

One more to add to your bike bucket list — Spain’s sun-soaked Mallorca island.

Tel Aviv, Israel opens the first velodrome in the Middle East.

Around 50 Brisbane, Australia bicyclists stage a die-in to call for better bike safety, tying up traffic during the morning rush hour. While the technique can be effective, we don’t win any friends by inconveniencing people just trying to get to work.

 

Finally…

Ten ways to tell others on the road that an angel just got its wings. Call it a secure dockless bikeshare parking spot.

And the Foos are some of us, too.

Most of them, anyway.

 

Morning Links: Garcetti on Veep list, LA’s people-friendly transformation has begun, and Lance visits Kalamazoo

Bernie Sanders isn’t being considered as Hillary Clinton’s running mate.

But our own LA Mayor Eric Garcetti reportedly is.

At least, that’s what I’m told the story says, since the Wall Street Journal won’t let me read the damn thing, despite numerous attempts to log in.

It’s far too soon to worry about what our current mayor becoming a heartbeat from the presidency might mean.

But let’s not forget that LA’s Great Streets program and commitment to Complete Streets originates from the mayor’s office. And popular LADOT director Seleta Reynolds serves at the pleasure of whoever occupies that office.

Chances are, Garcetti won’t get the nod. California’s Democratic stronghold is probably already in Clinton’s pocket, so the choice will more likely go to someone from a swing state.

So he may have to settle, for now, anyway, for the honor of simply being considered for the nation’s second highest office.

But if he did get it, it could mean some big changes in the City of Angels.

And not necessarily for the better.

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Speaking of changes made under Garcetti’s leadership, PBS looks at five spaces that urban designers have transformed into pedestrian paradises.

Not surprisingly, the first three are in New York, where former DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan worked to shift the city’s focus from cars back to people.

But the next one is right here in DTLA, where Broadway has gotten a makeover to be more inviting to people on bikes and foot. Although I’d call it a work in progress, rather than paradise found just yet.

Now just imagine if Hollywood and Highland was transformed into a pedestrian plaza like New York’s Times Square, taming one of the city’s most dangerous streets overnight. And sending commercial sales and property values skyrocketing, while giving tourists the Hollywood experience they expect, but seldom find.

Maybe Garcetti can make it happen before he moves to DC.

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The four people injured in last week’s Kalamazoo crash continue to recover from their injuries. One of the riders has already been discharged from the hospital, saying it still seems surreal.

Lance Armstrong — yes, that Lance — visits Kalamazoo to finish the ride the nine victims didn’t get to, and explains in his own words the emotional impact of talking to the victims and their families, while riding past five ghost bikes on the side of the road.

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The US qualified fewer spots for the men’s Rio Olympics cycling competition than Iran and Morocco.

South African U-23 rider Keagan Girdlestone is off the ventilator and out of a medically induced coma, yet remains in critical condition after a collision with a team car while racing in Italy 10 days ago.

An Aspen CO bike racer and skier makes a remarkable comeback from a brain aneurism that typically kills 70% of sufferers within 24 hours, winning a hill climb while competing with a small clip securing a blood vessel in his brain.

A New York cycling champ describes what it’s like to come out of the closet as a gay cyclist.

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Local

LA city prosecutor Andrew Said looks at how California’s outdated speed laws guarantee our streets remain dangerous.

A Santa Clarita resident complains that the city’s McBean Parkway has been converted to a high-speed superhighway, and calls for a road diet, lower speed and better sidewalks to protect bicyclists and pedestrians.

Milestone Rides goes bike camping and rattlesnake dodging in Henninger Flats, in the Angeles National Forest above La Cañada.

 

State

Newport Beach will consider safety improvements near schools, including crossing guards and buffered bike lanes, following the death of eight-year old Brock McCann as he rode home from school last month. It shouldn’t take the death of a child to prompt improvements to protect children on their way to and from school.

The CHP says a Bakersfield bus kept going after hitting a bike rider; the bus company says oh no we didn’t.

A Fresno driver has been arrested in the February hit-and-run that nearly killed a local surgeon as he rode his bicycle; the 23-year old driver has reportedly confessed.

 

National

USA Today lists ten open streets events around the country, starting with our own CicLAvia.

Gizmodo rates the best bike rack, basket and panniers for bike commuters.

A Colorado letter writer says demonizing cyclists doesn’t help anyone.

A cyclist is taking part in Colorado’s 400-mile Ride the Rockies bike tour for the fifth time. But just the first time since losing his vision in both eyes.

Next time you visit the original Coors plant in Golden CO, you can check out a bike from the town’s Bike Library for free for the first two hours. Meanwhile, a 25-bike Castle Rock CO bikeshare system will be free all summer thanks to a local hospital.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Kansas paper offers a heartbreaking look at California native Steven James Lewis, a bike tourist who had traveled throughout the world before losing his life, along with one of the rescue dogs he was towing behind his bike.

In a case reminiscent of our own Dr. Christopher Thompson, an Illinois driver is on trial for brake-checking a group of cyclists and forcing one into a ditch; the driver claims he had to brake to avoid another vehicle after passing the riders. Sure, let’s go with that.

Authorities credit a 12-year old Michigan boy’s helmet with saving his life when he was hit by a van and landed on his head.

Charleston SC councilmembers will have to decide if the safety of bike riders is worth just 48 seconds, as a temporary road diet and bike lanes over a bridge angered drivers by delaying them less than a minute at rush hour. I think we all know what certain LA councilmembers would say under the same circumstances.

 

International

Most female Strava users say there are no barriers to women’s bicycling. Of course, they are the ones already doing it, not the ones afraid try or unsure if they can make it work.

Rio will reopen the bike path that collapsed in February killing two people; plans are to open the path in time for the Olympics.

If vehicular cycling had never caught on in the 70s, would every North American city look like bike-friendly Montreal?

A British bike rider was the victim of a random attack by a large group of youths, apparently just for the hell of it since nothing was stolen.

A Kiwi truck driver slammed into a parked car. And naturally, blamed a bike rider.

Sydney, Australia police believe the person seen sabotaging a bike path in his boxers may be a local resident; as many as 800 flats have been caused by tacks over the past two years.

Forget protected bike lanes; Kyoto has a two-third mile arcade for bike riders.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride a bike to OC’s famed Trestles surf break, do it upright with a board under your arm like any self-respecting surfer. A writer asks what bike would Ramsey Bolton ride, although he seems more like the massive SUV type to me.

And no matter how pissed off you are after a driver cuts you off, don’t slash his tire with a knife.

And if you do, make sure he’s not a cop first.

 

Morning Links: Bike lane blocking LA CM cuts WeHo ribbon; MI takes fatal crash seriously, Ventura DA doesn’t

No hypocrisy here.

Twitter user fig4all attended the ribbon cutting for the new Fairfax Blvd bike lanes in West Hollywood on Thursday. And was surprised to see LA’s 5th District Councilmember Paul Koretz participating, since the bike lanes connect to existing lanes in his district.

Particularly since Koretz has single-handedly blocked badly needed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd at the behest of wealthy homeowners, while leading the fight to have them removed from the Mobility Plan.

Fairfax Ribbon Cutting

Is it just me, to does Paul Koretz looks a little pissed off?

Is it just me, or does Paul Koretz looks a little pissed off?

On the other hand, let’s give credit to the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition for working to get the new Fairfax bike lanes on the street, regardless of who shows up to cut the ribbon.

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Kalamazoo bike riders say Tuesday’s tragedy is a wake-up call for cyclists to always be aware of their surroundings on the road, while others decry the news coverage focused on telling cyclists how to protect themselves from two ton ballistic missiles, rather than telling drivers not to kill innocent people on bicycles.

Over 700 members of the local community came together to pray for the victims.

Prosecutors have shown they’re taking the case seriously, filing five second degree murder charges against the driver, along with four counts of reckless driving. However, police have still not given a reason for the crash.

The mother of driver Charles E. Pickett, Jr. insists her son is not a murderer and would never crash into anyone on purpose, although his Facebook page doesn’t exactly instill confidence. Thanks to Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious for the Facebook link.

Meanwhile, Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson says another Ride of Silence isn’t going to change anything; we need to stop being silent, start filing police reports and demand changes from our local leaders if crap like this is ever going to stop.

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Contrast the Kalamazoo case with last year’s Moorpark massacre, in which a distracted driver plowed into a cyclist, then overcorrected to hit a motorcycle rider head-on, killing both men.

Yet somehow, the Ventura County DA’s office inexplicably filed misdemeanor manslaughter charges, rather than the felony charges recommended by the CHP. Guaranteeing that the driver, 26-year old Rachel Hill of Ventura, will receive nothing more than a slap on the wrist, at best.

And eliminating whatever leverage the DA may have had to negotiate a guilty plea requiring any real jail time before the case even starts.

Needless to say, the widows of Maciek Malish and Jesse Cushman are outraged.

As any rational person would be.

KABC-7 reports Hill’s lawyer denies she was using her phone at the time of the collision; they admit she had used it a few minutes prior to the crash, but swear she’d stopped before the wreck occurred. Which fails to explain why she couldn’t manage to see the first victim or avoid either one.

So maybe she crashed into them just for the hell of it.

The charges in the Kalamazoo case shows what happens when authorities take traffic crime seriously. And this case shows what happens when they don’t.

Hopefully, the justifiable outrage to the misdemeanor counts will convince Ventura County DA Gregory D. Totten to re-file the case as a felony.

If not, maybe Ventura County voters should consider whether he belongs in the job.

Come back next week when we’ll have a guest post from the daughter of one of the victims.

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If you wonder why LA drivers speed with abandon, it’s because police can’t legally use speed guns on 75% of LA streets, thanks to the city’s failure to conduct speed surveys in compliance with California’s murderous 85th percentile law, which requires that speed limits be set to the rate 85% of drivers speed travel.

Yet conducting the surveys means limits will most likely have to be raised in order to be enforced.

Putting speeding drivers in charge of setting speed limits is like leaving armed robbers in charge of bank security. Contact your state legislators and demand a change.

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The CyclingTips website asks if professional cycling’s WorldTour is really so desperate for sponsors that it needs a team owned by a Bahraini prince with a dossier thick with human rights abuses and torture allegations; activists threaten to block next year’s Tour de France if the team participates.

Turns out a British extreme cyclist didn’t go missing on the unsupported cross-country Trans-Am Bike Race after all; he was just the victim of dehydration and a broken GPS.

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Local

Twitter user captainandstoker offers a bike cam view of the new curb-protected bike lane on Los Angeles Street. Meanwhile, groundbreaking is finally scheduled to take place on the long-promised MyFigueroa project this summer.

Richard Risemberg calls for volunteers to help out with Flying Pigeon owner Joseph Bray-Ali’s run for city council against anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo.

The Eastsider talks with Bicycle Kitchen founder Jimmy Lizama.

LA Eater examines a quartet of area coffee shops where cycling and caffeine collide.

Forget hi-viz. If you really want to be seen, join the LA edition of the World Naked Bike Ride tomorrow, at a location to be announced later today.

Don’t get that confused with Sunday’s non-clothing-optional LA River Ride, though, with routes ranging from a 15-mile family ride to a century ride around Long Beach and back.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Bike SGV Programs Director David Diaz about this weekend’s Viva SGV open streets event.

 

State

The annual AIDS/Lifecycle Ride will pass through Ventura and Malibu before ending at LA’s Fairfax High School on Saturday.

A 13-year old eighth grader becomes the youngest person to graduate from Moorpark College; like the genius he is, he enjoys riding a bike when he’s not studying.

A Vacaville man has been selected as the Solano County Bike Commuter of the Year.

NorCal AAA is using ebikes to rescue drivers in San Francisco’s Embarcadero area.

 

National

Elly Blue is back to suggest that the best bike trips start on a train.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. After a bike rider was killed in a collision, Tucson considers how to improve the intersection so it won’t happen again.

You don’t have to see to ride a bike, as a group of Missouri tandem riders volunteer their time and bikes to take blind people bicycling on local trails.

 

International

The Winnipeg Free Press calls the city’s proposed bike helmet law well-intentioned but misguided.

Caught on video: A British cyclist records a number of too-close passes, including one so close you can almost taste the hay bales on a passing truck.

A South African writer complains about “arrogant” cyclists who insist on using the sidewalk — albeit legally — to get around dangerous road construction work. If you’re going to ride on the sidewalk, show some courtesy to other people using it.

A Kiwi website looks at the bike-mounted device developed by the Chattanooga police department to accurately measure a three-foot passing distance. Something the LAPD needs to get its hands on so they can start enforcing the passing law here, even if they can’t use speed guns.

An Aussie writer says your safety on the streets depends on wearing fluorescent hi-viz during the day and reflectorized clothing at night. Because expecting drivers to actually pay attention to what’s on the road ahead of them is just too much to ask.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use a blowtorch to cut a bike lock on a public beach in broad daylight, leave the controlled substances and drug paraphernalia at home. No, cyclists aren’t safer riding against traffic, and militant bike riders hardly ever interfere with traffic on purpose.

And this is what happens when you try to ride a bike through a presidential motorcade.

 

Morning Links: See a bike-riding chef naked, East H’wood bike chop shop, and latest on Kalamazoo bike tragedy

If you ever wanted to see a famous LA chef naked, here’s your chance.

Border Grill chef Mary Sue Milliken is participating in this month’s 300-mile ChefsCycle for No Kid Hungry, with a goal of raising $20,000 to stop childhood hunger.

Make a tax-deductible donation of $10,000, and she’ll send you one of her annual Nude Year cards — without the usual aprons and cooking utensils covering up the more private areas.

Or donate $100,000, and she and fellow Hot Tamale Susan Feniger will come to your home and serve dinner for 10 people in the nude.

Which might be worth a crowdsourcing campaign to come up with the money.

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Twitter user teamonies points out what looks suspiciously like a bicycle chop shop in East Hollywood in the area around St. Andrews Place and Fernwood Ave; however, he reports having little luck getting the LAPD’s interest.

If you’re missing a bike, it may be worth checking out.

Bike chop shop

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More on Tuesday’s Kalamazoo MI crash that killed five bike riders and injured four others.

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Good news from Italy, as a South African cyclist’s life is no longer in jeopardy following a collision with a team car while competing in the Coppa della Pace race. How many lives have to be put in jeopardy before they finally ban motor vehicles from bike races?

More good news, as Belgium rider Stig Broeckx remains in an induced coma following a massive crash caused by a race moto at the Baloise Belgium Tour, but his injuries are no longer considered acutely life threatening.

The leader in the mixed-sex Trans Am 4400 transcontinental US bike race — not to be confused with the better known Race Across America (RAAM) — lost her lead when she took a wrong turn, but remains in second place. So who said women cyclists can’t compete with the men?

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Local

CiclaValley is going all in on Sunday’s LA River Ride this week, listing key sites to see on your way to Long Beach. Online registration is over, but you can still register on the day of the event.

LA Magazine’s Neal Broverman notes Paris is banning cars made before 1997 to fight smog, and asks if LA should do the same.

A Boyle Heights website looks back on last month’s Eastside Mural Ride highlighting the artwork and history east of the LA River.

The Source previews Sunday’s 4.9 mile Viva SGV open streets event in El Monte and South El Monte.

As we noted yesterday, West Hollywood will host the official ribbon cutting today on the new Fairfax Avenue bike lanes, which connect with existing lanes in LA to create continuous bike lanes from Willoughby Ave to Hollywood Blvd.

Speaking of WeHo, a rider catches a frighteningly close pass from a Starline Tours bus on his bike cam, and just avoids getting sandwiched with a parked car.

 

State

Santa Ana’s Bicycle Tree co-op celebrates it’s 10th anniversary.

A Huntington Beach father just wants sidewalks in the neighborhood so his disabled son can safely go for a walk, while NIMBY neighbors worry about giving up a small fraction of their lawns.

A Ventura letter writer places tongue firmly in cheek to respond to a complaint about those damn freeloading bike riders. Thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up.

After a witness saw a San Luis Obispo bike thief using bolt cutters to steal a locked bike, the victim got his bike back. And the thief got a well-deserved black eye and a trip to jail.

A driver from the San Luis Obispo area faces up to 19 years in prison after pleading no contest in the drunken hit-and-run death of a bicyclist in 2014; not only did investigators find alcohol, meth and THC in her blood, but she was already wearing an ankle monitor from a previous DUI arrest. It’s not enough to suspend a driver’s license; convicted drunk or stoned motorist too often drive anyway. We have to somehow take their cars away until they’re no longer a danger to others.

When a Pittsburgh CA high school student couldn’t get a ride to an important scholarship interview in Walnut Creek, he rode his bike to the BART station, rode to the Walnut Creek station and biked the rest of way. And got the scholarship.

A Palo Alto Bagel shop will pay $1.9 million to settle a lawsuit after one of their employees ran down a then 12-year old boy while he was riding his bike to school four years ago; the driver, who was not charged, claimed the sun was in his eyes even though the bigger problem may have been the meth in his system.

 

National

A cyclist confronts the drunk driver who just missed killing him when he rode up onto an embankment.

So much for the Amazon Prime program making deliveries via Seattle bike couriers.

Still more bad news from Michigan:

Shockingly, NYPD breaks with their long-standing tradition and actually arrests a truck driver for the fatal left-cross of a bike rider, instead of just writing it off as “no criminality involved.”

Nice gesture from New York’s Jewish Anti-Defamation League, which offered a $2,500 reward in the assault of a Muslim man who was attacked as he rode his bicycle outside an Islamic Studies Center.

The DC city council drops a provision from a bike safety bill that would have allowed bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields after the police and AAA objected.

In a case of weird life imitating low art, a Georgia man fled from police on an orange Dukes of Hazard bicycle after stealing a ball python and an albino frog; he was arrested behind a sub shop with the snake and a beer, but the frog is still missing. I have a sick feeling where they could find the frog.

 

International

An older Vancouver man was seriously injured when he was struck by a hit-and-run bike rider while walking on a pedestrian-only pathway. Seriously, don’t ride in restricted walking areas, always ride carefully around pedestrians, and damn it, stop if you hit someone, already.

LA cyclists dodge careless drivers, Brit cyclists dodge careless cows.

An English driver gets off with a suspended sentence for killing a cyclist after claiming the wind blew his van into the rider. Sure, let’s go with that.

An ultra-orthodox Israeli Jewish sect has banned bicycling for women and girls as young as five, deeming it too immodest and provocative. Anyone who thinks a five-year old on a bicycle is provocative shouldn’t be allowed around children.

Police in an Emirates city seize 109 bicycles for “flouting” traffic regulations and endangering road users — most for the heinous crime of not wearing reflective clothing. Which doesn’t endanger anyone other than the rider. If that.

 

Finally…

Actually, the biggest mistake indoor cyclists make is not riding outside on real bicycles. You may look ridiculous, but at least you’ll be dry, more or less.

And if you’re really worried about the Zika virus while competing in Rio, just freeze your sperm in advance.

Preferably once it’s been removed.

………

It’s a little late, but Ramadan Mubarak to all those observing the holy month.

 

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?

 

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