Tag Archive for police bias

Weekend Links: Free Breeze bikeshare pass, unfair bike traffic ticket, and anti-bike lane — and anti-bike — madness

As we’ve discussed before, Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare system officially kicks off with a grand opening ceremony this Thursday.

What we haven’t mentioned is that it’s free that day; just register online for a free one-day trial membership.

Breeze Email-ad-Final


Saw this post on Facebook from endurance cyclist, vegan nutritionist and organizer of Sunday’s Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer, Matt Ruscigno,

So I’m splitting lanes in heavy traffic on Melrose Blvd and I time a red light so I enter the intersection as soon as it turns green while maintaining my speed.

[police sirens]

LAPD: I’m pulling you over because you ran that red light.

Me: No I didn’t, I timed it perfectly.


Me: I may have rolled into the crosswalk but I had it timed. I watched. 
[takes ID, writes me a ticket]

LAPD: And you have to ride as far to the right as possible.

Me: I was passing, I’m allowed to do that.


Me: I was going around the cars in the right lane, safely.

LAPD: Don’t talk to me about safety- you shouldn’t have been doing that.

Me: Oh so I’m getting a ticket because you didn’t like I was splitting lanes and timed the light?


Me: Actually, I do. And I was riding safely.

LAPD: You’re lucky I’m not giving you two tickets!

Me: I can pass right?

LAPD: Yes.

Me: [Ride away, splitting lanes, with a $400 ticket in my pocket]

Sad that some cops still don’t get it.


Today’s common theme is attacks on bike lanes and the people who ride them.

More anti-bike insanity from Coronado, as a writer says bike advocates need to learn from animal advocates. Except she thinks bicyclists a sense of entitlement rather than a legal right to the road, she doesn’t get that police don’t always get bike law right (see above), and she doesn’t have a clue how traffic safety works.

A British Columbia writer says bike lanes are a waste of money and bikes belong on the sidewalk. Oh, and bicyclists don’t pay for roads, taxes or insurance, either.

Apparently desperate for click bait, a UK paper offers one story saying cyclists are a menace and should be banned from the roads, and another saying motorists should ask for more bikes on the road instead of complaining about them. Meanwhile, a writer for Cycling Weekly deconstructs the former, calling it the most ridiculous anti-cycling column yet. Thanks to Mike Kim for the link.

The vitriol isn’t limited to road bikes, either. In a piece that reads like it belongs in The Onion, a Berkeley Ph.D. suggests we’re corrupting the youth of America through high school off-road racing, saying introducing children to mountain biking is criminal. Speaking of criminal, his hatred of mountain biking goes back to at least 1997; he was arrested in 2010, tried and convicted of assaulting a pair of riders with a hacksaw and slicing one on the chest. And his previous posts to a mountain bike forum were replaced with a Seussian Ode to a Usenet Kook (scroll to the bottom for the final entry). Thanks to Mark Ganzer and Patrick Traughber for the heads-up.



The Amgen Tour of California will make a stop in South Pasadena on its way north.

CiclaValley discusses not riding Oat Mountain, the highest peak in the Santa Susana Mountains north of the San Fernando Valley, but his teammate Cameron Bond did.

Build traffic skills with a family friendly ride to Trader Joes followed by a picnic in Silver Lake Meadow on Sunday.

Find out where recently elected CD4 City Councilmember David Ryu stands on transportation issues when he discusses the LA Mobility Plan with LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds at the Autry Museum this Monday. Be sure to ask him why one of his first acts on the council was an attempt to exempt some streets in his district, including the long-promised 4th Street bike boulevard, from the plan.

This Thursday, Metro Chief Planning Officer Martha Welborne will discuss Metro’s regional planning vision at the the Transit Coalition Dinner Meeting, by registration only.

Santa Monica will host a free, full-day family bike festival on Sunday the 17th.



Seriously? Monterey’s annual Sea Otter classic will now offer e-bike races.

SFist says there’s a plague of bike thefts at San Francisco State University and college officials don’t seem to care.

Here’s a dream job for any bike advocate who doesn’t mind moving to the Bay Area. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is looking for a full-time Campaigns Director to “manage and direct the 44-year-old organization’s organizing, policy and political campaigns.” Then again, you probably can’t afford to live there, and you might have to become a Giants fan, which could be a deal breaker.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A suspected drunk driver is arrested after a high-speed chase in Santa Rosa, despite having already lost his license after five previous DUI convictions and 12 license suspensions. Taking away the license doesn’t keep some of the most dangerous drivers off the roads; we’ve got to find another way to keep them from driving.

Despite appearances, that Redding cyclist who suffered major injuries when he was hit by an 88-year old driver wasn’t a transient; he was collecting recyclables to donate to his church. And friends say he wasn’t one to just turn in front of a car.



A new online bike marketplace promises that you won’t encourage bike theft by buying a stolen bike.

A new website maps out every one of the 373,377 traffic fatalities in the US from 2004 to 2013

Toyota is investing $1 billion in artificial intelligence in the US. Which is probably a good thing, since there seems to be so little of the real thing on our streets.

Seattle residents vote to tax themselves to build a 50-mile protected bike lane network, along with a 60-mile network of neighborhood greenways.

Disappointing, but not surprising, as popular Colorado-based pro cyclist Tom Danielson’s B sample comes back positive for an anabolic steroid.

A Wyoming cyclist won’t face charges for killing a decorated former military dog; he claimed he shot the dog with the handgun he keeps strapped to his bike after it attacked him.

Once again, a car has been used as a weapon, as a Houston man accuses another man of intentionally running him down as he rode his bike following a dispute, then jumping him and attempting to drown him.

A Cleveland cyclist was shot in the chest after being asked for a cigarette at 3 am.

A New York cyclist captures photos of law breaking drivers, while admitting that he doesn’t always follow the law himself; meanwhile, a barely recognizable Katy Perry takes a spin around the city on her Trek.

Good read from the New Yorker, which blames the seemingly never-ending conflict between bicyclists, drivers, and pedestrians on old-fashioned egocentricity.



Bloomberg looks at the next generation of bespoke bike builders.

A cyclist from Colorado has been found safe after being missing from a three day stage race across Costa Rica.

Canadian authorities are looking for a driver who drove over a cyclist’s leg, asked if he was okay, then just drove away.

A British road safety advocate calls for a left-handed equivalent to the Idaho stop law.

It’s three years in jail for the Brit mom of six who deliberately ran down an autistic bike rider following a dispute. With her kids in the car, no less.

A writer considers the lessons learned from a family bike tour in France, where he was accepted by more experienced riders with open handlebars. His term, not mine.

An Indian professor says bike riders are normalizing bicycling as a way of life, and recreational cycling in Mumbai should not be seen through the lens of class conflict.



Caught on video: Nothing like reading a newspaper while driving. Nothing brings peace between cyclists and pedestrians like miso fries.

And meet the Cuban equivalent of LA’s Stupidtall bike.


Morning Links: The Cannibal comes to Culver City, San Fran debates stop signs, and ride the coast with Calbike

Los Angeles is getting another bike-friendly restaurant.

Following in the footsteps — or pedal strokes, perhaps — of Pedalers Fork in Calabasas and Frogtown’s Spoke Bicycle Café, New York-based The Cannibal is opening a West Coast outpost in Culver City.

According to the LA Times, bike racing co-owner Christian Pappanicholas promises a meat-forward beer and butcher-focused menu, as well as rice-based energy bars and musette bags for riders on the go.

There’s even a bike valet. And if you show up in your full riding kit, your second beer is free.

So expect to see a few wobbly spandex-clad riders making their way past Sony Studios.

Although we may have to talk to him about showing people who ride in street clothes a little love, too.

And the name is not a not to Hannibal Lector or the Donner Party, but rather, a reference to the great Eddy Merckx .


The debate goes on over bikes vs stop signs in Bagdad by the Bay.

A columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle says no one understands the city’s proposed Idaho stop ordinance. Including him, apparently, since it would require riders to observe the right-of-way and only go through a stop when it’s safe to do so.

According to Streetsblog SF, San Francisco police have a bias against bike riders, including a demonstrated lack of knowledge regarding bike laws. Few cops ever get more than a cursory introduction to the laws governing bicyclists.

And Bicycling takes up the question of whether or not to stop, ending with the most important rule — don’t be a dick.

Which seems to be what Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius was trying to say, as well.


Filmmakers are invited to participate in the Urbanism Filmmaking Challenge, where you’ll be paired with a noted urban designer, planner or architect to make a two-to-five minute film, with the possibility of a $300 prize.


Registration has been extended to tomorrow for Calbike’s fundraising ride along the coast from Santa Barbara to San Diego, according to an email from the California Bicycle Coalition’s Debbie Brubaker.

I just wanted to let you know that we decided to extend the registration deadline for the California Dream Ride to this Friday. The ride is going to be a lot of fun — I hope you can join us! We’ll be riding for 5 days along gorgeous bikeways from Santa Barbara to San Diego, and we’ll have several fun parties along the way: a Halloween party, a happy hour in Santa Monica, a special lunch with the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition, and a cool auction and party at MADE in Long Beach (a maker space).

The ride runs five days, from October 30th to November 4th, and promises “comfortable hotels, great food, fun people, and a behind-the-scenes look into the world of bicycle advocacy.”

You might want to pack your Halloween costume. Unless, like many of us, you look scary enough in spandex.


Peloton Magazine says Peter Sagan is a new-style champion with old-style panache.

The route for next year’s Giro d’Italia was leaked online in advance Monday’s official announcement.

Maybe it’s good news, as the owners of Colorado’s USA Pro Challenge pull out after years of financial losses, enabling the state to seek more varied and stable investors. Although if new ownership doesn’t emerge, it could mean the end of the popular race. Maybe the Amgen Tour of California can step in and create a two week Colorado to California grand tour. We can dream, right?

And a Belgian prosecutor plans to go after pro cyclists Alexandre Vinokourov and Alexandr Kolobnev after Kolobnev allegedly threw the 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege classic in favor of his fellow Russian for a $167,000 payoff.



Caught on video: The frustration of angry drivers cutting through side streets surrounding the Rowena road diet boils over. But does that mean the problem is with the road diet, or a lack of traffic mitigation in the surrounding are?

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton talks bikeshare, bike safety and Idaho stop laws with KCRW’s Madeline Brand and WeHo Mayor Lindsey Horvath.

Free bike pumps will be installed by the USC student government around the traditionally bike-unfriendly university.

A new Cypress Park bike courier service promises to deliver food, flowers, artwork and more; delivery within a two-mile radius costs just five bucks.

The rebuilt California Incline is on track for completion next spring, including a separated bike lane and sidewalk leading to and from the beach.

October’s edition of the LACBC’s Sunday Funday Ride rolls 22 miles through Pasadena on the 4th.



Three-hundred kids got free helmets and bike safety training at a pair of OC bike rodeos.

Sad news from San Luis Obispo, as a bike rider was killed in a collision with a pickup Wednesday afternoon.

A problematic Los Altos intersection gets a new intelligent traffic signal that promises to recognize bicycles and treat them like any other vehicle. Which makes it smarter than most drivers and public officials.

San Francisco police are looking for a Caddy driver who gave a cyclist an unwanted hood ride when he tried to take a photo of the car’s license after it sideswiped him; naturally, police stress that there may be another side to the story.

Cyclelicious explains how police got it wrong in that time trial death in Yolo County, going out of their way to find a new way to blame the bike-riding victim.

Lakeport police arrested the 28-year old driver who fled the scene after seriously injuring two bike riders, as well as booking his mother as an accessory. The family that flees together stays together, albeit behind bars.



A new report raises red flags over drug-impaired driving as a result of the legalization, or near legalization, of marijuana in 23 states, including California. Although in most cases, it doesn’t seem to be a problem unless it’s combined with other drugs or alcohol.

A new Indiegogo project promises to take the popular MonkeyLectric wheel lights a step further with 376 full color LED lights forming patterns while you ride; lights for one wheel will set you back $99.

Seriously? A Portland man was driving carelessly, had no insurance and violated a cyclist’s right-of-way in the collision that cost a rider his leg earlier this year. But won’t face charges because prosecutors can’t prove he did it on purpose.

A Seattle area man discovers his stolen bike being sold on eBay by a 70-year old Idaho domestic violence victim associated with a known bike thief. Police are trying to help him get it back.

Even though people in the Southwest are driving less and using transit more, transportation spending continues to follow the same old auto-centric patterns.

Smart idea. Phoenix places new signs warning salmon cyclists to ride with traffic on the back of existing street signs.

Denver’s Westword provides an in-depth look at Boulder’s decision to scrap a road diet and protected bike lanes, even though it was proven successful through the first eight weeks.

Grand Rapids MI just passed it’s own five — yes, five — foot passing law.

Yet another bighearted cop digs into his own pocket to buy a little girl a new bike after hers was stolen, this time in Indiana.



England announces what may be the first national e-bike bikeshare system to entice people who don’t normally ride or who live in hilly areas; a Brit paper says any kind of bicycling should be encouraged. Agreed.

Interesting debate at the Guardian, as one writer says plans for bikeways must reach beyond “two-wheel boy racers in Wiggo kits,” while another says we should leave class out of discussions of bicycling. One of the great things about bicycling is it’s very democratic; anyone can ride a bike, and we should consider all riders when making plans and improvements.

Two of the first black African riders to compete in the Tour de France discuss efforts to transform Africa by using bikes to provide better access to education.



It may be a tad late, but it’s still pretty impressive when Al Roker — or at least his bike — gives Steve Isaacs’ Sweet Ride a shout out. Don’t threaten a pair of women walking on a trail, let alone return to hit one with your bike.

And oh, the places you’ll go! as a man discovers his foldie can take him more places than he thought.

With apologies to Dr. Seuss, of course.


Morning Links: San Diego police blame bike mob; unconfirmed report of bicycling fatality on PCH in Malibu

No bias here.

Not from the press. And certainly not from the San Diego Police Department.

According to San Diego’s ABC 10 News, a female driver called 911 to report a “mob” of nine or ten bicyclists had chased her down and smashed her car window.

It must have seemed frightening to the people huddled at home watching the broadcast.

But the real story is hidden in the details.

The bike riders were using the sharrows in the city’s Normal Heights neighborhood when the driver came up behind them and began harassing them by honking nonstop, which is a violation of California law. Even though they were exactly where they were supposed to be.

She then broke the law again by passing too close, striking one of the bikes; fortunately, the rider was able to jump off just in time to avoid serious injury.

The riders then chased down the hit-and-run driver as she dragged the bike for several blocks, banging on her window in an attempt to get her attention and keep her from fleeing the scene.

Pedestrians and other motorists are often called heroes when they stop a fleeing driver under similar circumstances.

Instead, these riders were portrayed as a crazed mob, and threatened with prosecution on vandalism charges for punching and kicking the car.

So it’s okay for the driver to mangle a bike after running down the rider. But not for riders to break a window, apparently inadvertently, in an effort to make her stop.

Got it.

Police refused to even ticket, let alone arrest, the woman, despite obvious violations for

  1. harassing the cyclists
  2. breaking state law governing the use of a horn
  3. violating the three-foot passing law
  4. destruction of property
  5. failing to stop and exchange information following a collision

And yet somehow, she’s portrayed as the victim, with the people on bikes her attackers.

It’s sadly reminiscent of a case that marked the first stirrings of the bicycle rights movement here in Los Angeles.

Andres Tena was riding with a group of friends in the spring of 2009 when they were confronted by an impatient Hummer driver, who attempted to flee the scene after striking Tena’s bike and injuring him enough to require hospitalization. The other riders chased the driver down and blocked his way; in response, they were threatened with an unseen gun before the driver ran over their bikes in an effort to escape.

When police arrived, they somehow concluded that Tena had crashed into the side of the Hummer — which would have required backing into it at a high rate of speed, since he was thrown forward by the impact and suffered significant damage to the rear of his bike.

And that the driver was justified in attempting to flee, because he was frightened by all those scary bike riders, despite being safely ensconced within his multi-ton urban assault vehicle.

The cop on the scene took it a step further, saying if the cyclists had surrounded him like that, he would have done the same thing the Hummer driver did.

In fact, the only criminal prosecution that was even contemplated was a misdemeanor charge against a cyclist for “throwing his bike at the Hummer.”

Funny how some things never change.

It took years of sometimes difficult negotiations, but now LA’s bicycling community has a much better relationship with the LAPD than we did back in the dark days of just six short years ago.

But clearly, San Diego police haven’t gotten the memo.

And as this case clearly shows, they have a long way to go before cyclists can feel like they have the same support from law enforcement that drivers have come to expect, and are considered equal road users rather than two-wheeled pirates.

None of us are safe on the streets if we can’t count on the police to be there when we need them. And to do it fairly, without an obvious — and repugnant — windshield bias.

According to a tweet from BikeSD, they’re working with the San Diego Bicycle Coalition to arrange legal representation for the bike riders.

They may need it.

And sadly, the angry hit-and-run driver who started it all won’t.


The publisher of the Malibu Times mentioned Tuesday that a bike rider had been killed on PCH near Busch Drive, but didn’t have any details.

However, the report cannot be confirmed at this time.

There have been no other reports in the press, and repeated web searches have turned up empty. And there has been no response yet to a request for information from the CHP.

Meanwhile, he goes on to criticize cyclists for riding with inadequate lighting on their bikes. While he has a point, it is irresponsible to bring it up in response to the unconfirmed report of the bicycling fatality without knowing if a lack of lights had anything to do with it.

Or if it even happened.

It’s no better than if someone went off on a rant against speeding, texting drivers after hearing about a traffic collision without knowing if those were contributing factors in the wreck.

Yes, we should all ensure that we are visible to those we share the road with, especially after dark or in the late dusk or early morning hours when it can be most difficult to see.

But it’s wrong to imply, intentionally or not, that it may have had anything to do with a wreck that can’t even be confirmed.


I don’t even know what to think about this.

TMZ reports the DA’s office is unlikely to file charges against Caitlyn Jenner for a fatal collision on PCH last February, since they wouldn’t even file charges against the sheriff’s deputy who killed Milt Olin while using his onboard computer.


Just like anyone else, Alejandro Valverde used Google to plan his route to victory in stage four of the Vuelta.

And after the Feds drop fraud charges against the other disgraced former Tour de France champ, Floyd Landis — remember him? — still has to repay nearly half a million dollars to the 1,700 people who donated to his defense fund when he was still pretending he hadn’t doped.



A Texas study says LA has the second worst traffic in the US, costing commuters 80 hours a year lost to traffic delays. To which bike commuters respond, “So?”.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks Vision Zero with LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds in the latest #DamienTalks podcast.

For those who read español, a nice profile of Carlos Morales and the Eastside Bike Club; Morales saved his own life by losing 250 pounds riding a bike, and now works to spread the gospel of bikes and health to others. For those who don’t, Google Translate offers a passable translation.



Congratulations to the newly announced Bicycle Friendly Businesses in Southern California, including Santa Monica ad agency Ruben Postaer and Assoc, Giant Santa Monica bike shop, and the San Diego Association of Governments.

San Diego police bust a bike-riding bank robber. Or maybe they just assume everyone on a bike is a criminal.

Apparently, not everyone in Coronado opposes a bike path along the beach. Nice to see a rational, non-NIMBY response for a change.

The El Cerrito Planning Commission approves an Active Transportation Plan, including bike boulevards, traffic calming on narrow streets and a bike route providing access to the Bay Trail surrounding the San Francisco Bay.



Bicycling offers tips on how to avoid helmet hair, as well as advice on meditating to get more out of bicycling. Meditation will also improve your health. And life. Trust me.

A Utah man is ordered to pay a whopping $8,000 restitution for intentionally running down a man on a bike over a property dispute. Twice.

Turns out that despite vocal opposition, 57% of Boulder CO residents support the right-sizing of a city street to make room for protected bike lanes; bike traffic is up 38% in just the first three weeks, while average vehicle speeds have dropped from 39 mph to 37 mph — in a 30 mph zone.

Colorado transportation officials plan to improve bicycle safety on a major street by turning it into a high speed virtual freeway and forcing bikes off it. Memo to Colorado DOT: The auto-centric ‘70s are over.

In a bizarre assault, a Boise man who was driving erratically shouted at a bike rider at an intersection, then made a U-turn, drove up on the sidewalk and punched the rider in the face before driving over his bicycle.

A Wisconsin driver faces charges for running over a bike and a child’s bicycle attachment following a dispute after passing a father and his two kids too closely; the driver claims the father threw his $2,000 bike in front of the truck’s wheels. Sure, that’s credible.

No bias here, either. Two people were killed and eleven injured in seven separate Chicago shootings, yet the headline only mentions the one involving a bike.

It’s bicycle back to school time. Indiana’s Purdue university opens its own bikeshare system, while the University of Florida is offering to rent students a bike, helmet and lock.

Pittsburgh’s transit system will open its third bike garage, which will hold up to 80 bikes on pneumatic, spring-loaded double-decker racks.

Over 800 Philadelphia bike riders are planning to participate in a PopeRide when the city’s downtown streets will be shut down for the papal visit.

A Staten Island website questions whether bikes, recreational or otherwise, should ply the island’s narrow colonial-era streets. Never mind that bikes are better suited for narrow streets than cars and SUVs, or that they could provide an alternative to heavy traffic.

The mayor of an Alabama town lost his bid for a fifth term two weeks after he was bopped in the head with a baseball bat for schtupping the wife of a bike riding attorney.



A Quebec cop is charged with killing a bike rider last September; he faces charges of reckless driving and criminal negligence, even though witnesses say he backed into the victim’s bike on purpose.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 90-year old British man still rides every day on the 1939 Triumph bicycle he got for his 14th birthday.

People get killed or injured by being passed too close, and some post video of those dangerous passes online. Evidently, a group of British filmmakers who posted a YouTube style parody online think that’s funny.

Caught on video: A Brit bike thief makes off with a bicycle in less than a minute after casually joking with the staff at a gym, where the owner had gone in to take a shower.

A writer from the UK says she belongs on the road as much as any man, and despite the harassment she faces, the freedom of bicycling more than makes up for it. All cyclists are subject to harassment, but the added sexual component woman face is one of the factors that helps keep bicycling a predominately male form of transportation.

The Smithsonian recommends touring Kaohsiung City, Taiwan by bike, calling it one of Asia’s best cycling cities, with a world-class bikeshare program.



Painting eyes over a bike rack helps prevent thefts, although the thieves just seem to go somewhere else. If you’re going to “borrow” a bike to get to work, make sure it’s not a cop’s patrol bike first.

And a Baltimore writer finishes dead last on what the Smithsonian calls the world’s “most difficult feat in uphill cycling.” But he finished.

Then again, they probably never heard of LA’s own Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer.


Morning Links: Cycling in the South Bay makes me blush, and what you — and drivers — don’t know about bike law

The Corgi assures me she cast her vote for a bike-friendly candidate, thanks to the little-known Corgi Suffrage Act of 1979.

The Corgi assures me that she cast her vote for a bike-friendly candidate, thanks to the little-known Corgi Suffrage Act of 1979.

I’m blushing.

No, really.

I’m not one to toot my own horn. Especially since the only horn I know how to play is a tuba, and the neighbors would have a serious problem with that.

As would the Corgi, I’m sure.

Fortunately, Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has done it for me, with a piece I intend to have engraved in full on my tombstone.

Which will require either incredibly small type, or a shitload or marble.

Seriously, thanks Seth.

He also offers up a great report on leading by bad example. Which I have done more than once.


Good report from KPCC public radio on what drivers — and cyclists – don’t know about bike law, including a handy quiz to check your own knowledge.

Although I’d take the stats showing bike riders are at fault in most collisions with a big grain of salt, since determination of fault depends on the training and, too often, windshield biases of the investigators.

Few, if any, California police officers receive adequate training in investigating the unique properties of bicycle collisions, which differ greatly from motor vehicles. And not nearly enough officers have a working understanding of the actual rights and responsibilities of bike riders.



The LA Times offers their full obituary for the late, great Alex Baum, while KCET provides a detailed remembrance.

The CSULA paper looks at the benefits of bike riding for the school’s students.

Look out for road construction on southbound PCH between Busch and Trancas for the next two days, as they prepare to install a six-foot wide parking adjacent bike lane alongside the highway.



A Bay Area triathlete describes the effects a traumatic brain injury had on her life after a fall, apparently while walking or running. But oddly, she calls for cyclists to wear helmets instead of pedestrians.

A Marin County hiker was hospitalized after a trail rage confrontation with a mountain biker. Seriously, no matter how justified you may feel, don’t ever hit a 65-year old woman. Or anyone else, for that matter.

A story from the CSU Sacramento paper says people who ride a bike for 30 minutes score higher on memory and reasoning tests than those who don’t. But we knew that, right?

This is why you always carry ID, as Fairfield police attempt to identify a bike rider seriously injured in a collision; the victim remains unconscious in a trauma center.

A after joining a memorial ride for a cyclist killed by a distracted driver, Nevada County writer calls on drivers to try putting their cell phones in the glove box for the next 30 days. Great idea.



The Portland paper offers 10 tips on how to keep you bike from being stolen, and how to get it back if it is.

A Seattle writer questions whether bike advocacy is in decline in the city, especially since Seattle bike collisions are increasing.

A fat tire rider smashes the sled dog record for a 350-mile stretch of Alaska’s famed Iditarod trail. Of course, the warm weather that allows cyclists to ride fast also slows sled dogs down; my brother ended up with a cracked femur and wrenched shoulder trying to run his team on rocks one year.

Seriously? Even frigid Fargo gets bike share before the far more temperate City of Angels.

As if cars weren’t enough to worry about, an Allentown PA bar owner is on trial for allegedly walking out of his bar, then shooting and killing a random bicyclist riding a half block away.

A Hoboken man faces charges after being arrested for bike theft not once, not twice, but three times in the last nine months. Evidently, he’s both a prolific and crappy thief.

It shouldn’t take the death of a cyclist to call attention to a dangerous New Orleans intersection.



A Chilean mountain biker becomes the first professional athlete in her country to come out as gay. Clothes belong in closets, people don’t.

London’s mayor calls on bike riders to wave like a symphonic conductor to get drivers’ attention, which is far better than calling on motorists to actually pay attention.

An English firefighter testifies an angry driver buzzed him while he was riding to work, then got out of his car to yell at him, and buzzed him again, missing him by inches.

The UK extends their Think! Cycling safety campaign, despite evidence that it doesn’t seem to make any difference.

Newly retired pro cyclist Andy Schleck plans to open a bike shop in Luxembourg.

Sad news from Belgium, as a spectator is killed when a racer loses control of his bike in the wind; the victim was the wife of a former Tour de France stage winner.

An American professor working in the United Arab Emirates was killed while riding with a friend.

A Japanese man sues the maker of his folding mountain bike after the frame breaks, throwing him to the pavement and smashing his teeth. Let’s hope the $190 cost of the bike was used, not full retail.



A Cincinnati TV station freaks out over the $50 each cost of bollards marking a parking protected bike lane, the concept behind which they don’t seem to get. A casual Aussie bicyclist feels threatened by cars, but can’t help ridiculing anyone who takes riding more seriously.

And a Bulgarian tourist decides to ride his bike into London from Heathrow on a major highway, causing much consternation since it evidently never occurred to anyone to try riding from the airport, let alone offer directions on how to do so.


A prior commitment will keep me from attending today’s memorial service for Alex Baum, but he and his loved ones will be in my heart and prayers.

And someone please ask the mayor and LADOT when we’ll see the well-deserved public memorial for one of the truly great Angelenos?

Weekend Links: Burbank Sunday Funday ride; Spokane police bend over backward to blame bike riding victim

Somehow, I left the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s Sunday Funday ride off Friday’s list of coming bike events.

If you hurry, you may still be able to make it to the North Hollywood Red Line station in time for today’s ride exploring the hidden bowls of Burbank.


This is why police need better training in investigating bike collisions.

Spokane police bend over backwards to blame the victim when a 15-year old bike rider was killed in an apparent crash with a speeding patrol car.

Citing physical evidence, investigators concluded that the car never actually made contact with the victim. Instead, they say he went over the handlebars while — get this — attempting a wheelie a split second before the patrol car passed inches away.

Never mind that it’s far more likely that the victim fell while trying to avoid a collision with a police car racing to respond to an emergency.

Or that he was unlikely to go over the handlebars unless he was doing a wheelie on the wrong damn wheel.



The east part of Venice Blvd is finally getting some, but not all, of the bike lanes promised in the 2010 bike lane.

Flying Pigeon interviews participants in the LACBC’s recent Operation Firefly bike light giveaway on North Figueroa.

Ciclavalley attends the first community meeting for the March CicLAvia.

The Times offers a nice remembrance of 106-year old Long Beach bike rider Octavio Orduño, who passed away earlier this month.



A Laguna Beach resident says it’s a great place to live, as long as you don’t want to walk or ride a bike.

The long delayed bike share is officially open in San Diego.

Now that’s something worth contributing to. San Diego’s Major Taylor Cycling Club is raising funds to get a blind tandem-riding cyclist back on his bike.

San Bernardino sheriff’s deputies allegedly shocked a Victorville bike rider with a Taser at least 25 times, then hog-tied face down in the back of a patrol car before he died in the 100 degree heat.

An alleged Santa Cruz hit-and-run driver turns himself in over a month after the collision that took the life of a bike rider — but only after police had identified him as a suspect. He reportedly tried to disguise his damaged truck to avoid detection.

Five cyclists are injured, one seriously, when a Mendocino County driver plows into them from behind with no warning; a photo of the aftermath shows the bikes strewn in a ditch. The 18-year old driver was later arrested on suspicion of DUI.



Eight ways last year was the year of bike fashion.

Sound familiar? Anchorage, Alaska has installed less than 1% of the bikeways promised in their 2010 bike plan.

Evidently, life is cheap in my hometown, as a 73-year old driver gets probation for fleeing the scene after right-hooking a cyclist.

Kidical Mass gains popularity in Gotham.



It’s nice that London cyclists get to see what it’s like to drive a truck. But it would be even better for the drivers to try riding a bike surrounded by big ass trucks with impatient drivers.

A Kiwi driver may learn the hard way not to post video of his own road-raging anti-bike tirade on Facebook.

Bikes come to Japanese actions figures.



A bill in the Wyoming legislature would require cyclists to wear 200 square inches of reflective hi-viz; evidently, dark colored cars are still okay, though. A Manhattan bike map plots routes by degree of stress as measured by mindreading bike helmets.

And there is nothing quite so humiliating to Chinese workers as when their boss bikes to work.


Morning Links: San Diego cyclists get blamed for collisions, and accused Eagleson killer enters not guilty plea

Evidently, it’s our fault.

Mostly, anyway.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, an analysis of San Diego bike crashes since 2011 shows cyclists at fault in nearly 60% of collisions.

Of course, those stats are based on police collision reports. And as the story notes, the results are subject to question.

Their accuracy depends largely on the individual officer’s knowledge and interpretation of bike law, ability to properly investigate bike collisions — especially when the injured cyclist is often unable to give his or her side of the story — and a lack of bias.

The simple fact is that few California police officers receive adequate, let alone in-depth, training in the rights and responsibilities of bike riders, as evidenced by the frequency with which riders are ticketed for things that aren’t actually illegal, such as riding in the traffic lane or two or more abreast.

And none are trained in the unique forensics of bicycle collisions, which differ dramatically from typical automobile crashes.

As for bias, with the exception of bike cops and officers who ride on their own time, most cops see the world from the same windshield perspective as other motorists.

All of which means that stats like this may provide support those who want to write bike riders off as law-breaking scofflaws.

But until we demand better bike training for traffic investigators — and police officers in general — they will have little basis in reality.



Not even zoo animals are safe from LA’s hit-and-run drivers, as a big horn sheep is killed after escaping its enclosure, and the jerk behind the wheel just keeps on driving.

Velonews reports on the first day of the CXLA Weekend at the Greek, with victories by Katerina Nash and James Driscoll in the elite races. Cycling Across LA offers video of the race.

A ride will be held on December 7th to honor fallen cyclist Milt Olin, roughly three months after the DA dishonored him by refusing to file charges in the case.

BikeSGV delivers their monthly newsletter filled with upcoming events in the San Gabriel Valley



Neil Storm Stephany entered a not guilty plea Friday in the alleged intoxicated hit-and-run death of cyclist Shaun Eagleson in Newport Beach last month. Stephany faces a well-deserved murder charge based on a prior DUI conviction.

Short-sighted San Clemente votes not to include bike lanes in a coming reconstruction of Calle Frontera, apparently not realizing that giving people an alternative to driving could reduce traffic.

‘Tis the season: A Pismo Beach man donates 57 bikes to the local sheriff’s department to give away for Christmas.



Great news from Tucson, as former Rep. Gabby Giffords gets back on her bike three years after the near-fatal shooting.

A road raging Seattle driver faces just three to nine months in jail following her conviction for second-degree assault for intentionally running down a cyclist in a horrific attack.

An allegedly very drunk Chicago bike share rider is critically injured after being hit by two cars.

Turns out that Wolverine-playing song-and-dance man Hugh Jackman is one of us, as he goes for a cold weather ride on the streets of New York.

A father and daughter finish their 4,200 mile trip from Washington to Key West to benefit wounded vets.



E-bikes are on a roll in Europe, but just starting to catch on in the US.

Bikes will be banned from a bucolic garden bridge over the Thames because they would allegedly spoil the peaceful walking atmosphere. And as we all know, it’s impossible to ride a bike peacefully.

Caught on video: A London cyclist captures a first-hand perspective of what it’s like to be hit by an unseen cab; the footage is evidence in a civil case.

Down Under girls just want to have fun on fixies. That is, if they’re not collecting a menagerie of bikes.

A newborn Aussie baby is safe, thanks to the cyclists who discovered him hidden in a storm drain where he had been abandoned up to five days earlier.



Turns out rocket powered cyclists are nothing new. British cyclists have a better knowledge of road safety than motorists do; not surprising, since people on bikes are a lot more vulnerable on the roads those who can rely seat belts, air bags and crumple zones.

And a Boston man confronts the thief who’s stealing his bike, and wins.


A call for justice for Damien Kevit; Redwood City police blame 14-year old cyclist for her own death

The fight for justice continues in the case of Damian Kevitt.

As you may be aware, the cyclist lost a leg — as well as suffering a number of other horrific injuries — when he was dragged onto the 5 Freeway by a hit-and-run driver last month.

Tonight I received the following email attempting to mobilize the community to find the heartless bastard who did it.

And I use that term advisedly.



WHAT:  Members of the media are invited to attend a public outreach event in the continuing search for the driver who hit cyclist Damian Kevitt last month.

Volunteers and community organizers will be distributing fliers to inform the public of the hit-and-run collision and the $25,000 reward being offered for information leading to the arrest of the assailant(s).

Damian was struck on Sunday February 17, 2013 at 11:30AM, the timing and distribution area correlate to the time and location of the hit-and-run one month ago.  There is a strong possibility the assailant was playing soccer at or near the field prior to the accident.

Sunday March 24, 2013
10:30AM Check-In
Public outreach from 10:45AM-12:00PM
John Ferraro Athletic Fields – Griffith Park
Meet at the Giant Soccer Ball adjacent to the soccer field parking lot
4701 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles, CA 91207

BACKGROUND: On Sunday February 17, 2013, Damian Kevitt was struck by a light colored minivan, possibly a gray Toyota Sienna which might have had a “for sale” sign posted in the rear window, on Zoo Drive near the Ferraro Soccer Complex and Dog Park.  The driver was possibly wearing a soccer jersey.

A $25,000 reward is being offered by the City of Los Angeles and the CHP to find the hit-and-run driver.  Anyone with information is asked to call CHP’s Altadena station at (626) 296-8100 or (323) 259-2010

Damian Kevitt was struck on on Feb. 17 around 11:35 a.m. when a minivan made a hard left, that struck and dragged him 600 feet down the Interstate 5 on-ramp until he fell from the vehicle.  The violent collision broke 20 bones and crushed his right leg.  Doctors had to amputate his right leg below the knee.  His left foot is missing tissue and skin and may also need to be amputated the road rash was so severe, it was down to the bone on Kevitt’s left elbow, and his buttocks will need skin grafts.


In a heartbreaking case, police blame a 14-year old Redwood City bike rider for her own death in a right-hook collision.

The official conclusion is that she undertook a truck that was signaling for a right turn, and got squeezed out when the road narrowed at a bulb-out. However, it’s far more likely that the truck overtook her, then cut her off by turning in front of her.

Unfortunately, the victim isn’t around to tell her own side of the story.

But a local rider does a pretty good job of telling it for her; link courtesy of LadyFluer.

But regardless of how it happened or who was at fault, there’s something terribly wrong with expecting a 14-year old to ride and react like an experienced cyclist just to stay alive on her way to school.


The family of fallen hit-and-run victim Benjamin Torres still hope for justice, six months after he was killed while riding to work. Boyonabike looks at Thursday’s LACBC-sponsored discussion on making bike-friendly places. An LMU student tells what it’s like to crash the LA Marathon with thousands of other riders. Will Campbell enjoys the irony of biking to the DMV. Pasadena City College installs a self-serve bike repair station; thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. Streetsblog is throwing itself a 5th birthday party and Streetsie Award dinner on Saturday, April 27th.  C.I.C.L.E. hosts a Street Art Ride for the Pasadena Earth and Arts Festival on Saturday, April 20th. Ride with the mayor of increasingly bike-friendly Glendale on Saturday, April 6th. Santa Monica bike riders deliver Meals on Two Wheels. A Valencia woman faces up to four years for seriously injuring a bike rider in a hit-and-run. Long delayed Calabasas bike-centric farm-to-table restaurant Pedalers Fork is scheduled to open April 15th; let’s see, that’s only a 52 mile roundtrip ride from my place…

A look at San Diego bike paths. Residents are divided on a proposal to right-size a roadway in Riverside; that’s the new, more PC term for a road diet. Riverside’s mayor invites the public to join him on a bike ride today. A Hemet bike rider is airlifted to a trauma center following a collision. More — and more secure — bike racks coming soon to Bakersfield. In a bizarre case, a Fresno cyclist stabs two men after claiming another driver hit his bike when he stopped to help a stranded motorist. If you’re going to break the law by riding on the sidewalk in a city that bans it, leave the meth at home. A bike rider is hit and killed by a pickup in Clear Lake. Don’t plan on renting a bike in Yosemite anytime soon; not even for a guided fundraising ride to dismantle the park’s Hetch Hetchy reservoir, which never should have been built in the first place.

People for Bikes invites you to turn your bike into art. Those woodpecker-inspired cardboard bike helmets should be on the market this summer, while a new prototype headlight projects your current speed onto the roadway in front of you. Tell Bicycling about your favorite ride, and you could win a new bike valued at up to $4,999; my favorite ride is usually the one I’m on. Car commuters, even those who work out, put on more weigh than active commuters. How to ride to work and still wear a suit. Idaho bike club bands together to buy their own Watch for Bikes signs. How to build protected bike lanes even confident cyclists will use. A Minnesota city ends its experiment with advisory bike lanes, deciding a permanent bike lane is preferable. A New York bike rider breaks the rules of subway etiquette. New York bicyclists demand the NYPD get off its collective ass and hold killer drivers accountable; okay, some of that anger might actually be mine. Atlanta cyclists struggle to co-exist with motorists. Two Miami-area mayors ride to work for National Bike to Work Day, which doesn’t actually take place until May. Cycling Weekly gets the skinny on biking scion Taylor Phinney.

The long and ever-growing list of very high-end bikes from exclusive auto manufacturers. The difference between UK and US police is the Brits apologize after they hit you. British cyclists understandably take offense at being called Lycra-clad lemmings. A British pro soccer player credits his helmet with saving his life when a driver swerves into his bike. Road rage strikes even in the middle of a bike race, as a team car not-so-gently nudges a motorcycle out of the way. The Cannibal, AKA legendary cycling great Eddy Merckx, should be back on his bike in a couple weeks after getting a pacemaker. Spanish bicyclists seek asylum at European embassies to protest anti-bike legislation. Here’s your chance to help buy bikes for orphans in Kenya. The first African pro team to compete in a spring classic surprisingly wins the first time out. Tanzanian cyclists ride to support victims of sickle cell disease. New Zealand rider Jack Bauer — no, not the fictional terrorist fighter — suffers a nasty concussion in a racing crash. Safety issues discourage Aussie women from riding. Taiwan needs to lower its speed limits to become a bicycling island. A Thai bike rider’s body is scattered like roadkill in a horrific multiple hit-and-run; seriously, unless you have a strong stomach, you may not want to read that one.

Finally, an amputee makes his own prosthetic finger out of spare bicycle parts. Patrick at Red Kite Prayer continues to remind us that there are things far more important than riding a bike, as heretical as that may seem sometimes. Latest word is the surgery went well, but prayers and good thoughts, whatever you’re comfortable with, are still needed.

And ending on a more upbeat note, UK band British Sea Power becomes the latest group to offer a bike-centric music video. I say it has a nice beat and it’s easy to ride to.

Update: Courtesy of Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious, here’s a story I missed last night, as a very pregnant Seattle woman gets out of a car, pulls a stun gun out of her bra and shoots a bike messenger in the face twice. The male driver of the car also got out and swung a second stun gun at the messenger, both apparently in retaliation for the messenger kicking the car’s wheel well in a crosswalk dispute.

Update: Bike rider illegally ticketed by pissed-off cop for non-infractions on Venice bike path

Give Yo! Venice! credit for reporting this one.

The popular website broke the news yesterday that a bike rider on the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path was ticketed by a cop for a made-up violation — simply because he pointed out the LAPD officer’s motorcycle was blocking the pathway last Thanksgiving weekend.

According to the site — and backed up by a helmet cam video of the interaction — Venice resident Chris J. was slowly riding north on the pathway when he encountered the officer blocking the entire southbound section of the bikeway, at the same time a girl on a tricycle was blocking the north side of the path.

So after going around, he — politely, evidently — informed the officer his motorcycle was blocking the path, to which the officer responded “I can give you a ticket for that.”

Next thing he knew, the cop was following behind his slow moving beach cruiser with lights flashing.

And that’s when it gets interesting.

The cyclist turned on his helmet cam and recorded the officer fumbling for something, anything, he could ticket him for. And admitting on camera that the only reason he was writing up the rider was because he had argued with him.

Politely asking a cop not to block the bikeway may not be smart, but it sure as hell isn’t arguing.

Kind of violates the meaning of “To Protect and Serve,” doesn’t it?

First the officer threatens to write up the cyclist for riding on the wrong side of the bike path. Which, to the best of my knowledge, isn’t illegal; if the same traffic laws that apply to motor vehicles also apply to an off-road, Class I bikeway — a multi-use pathway in places — this is the first I’ve heard of it.

If so, the department could make up the state’s entire budget deficit just by writing tickets on the bike path. Starting with pedestrians walking on the bike-only sections, since people generally aren’t allowed to walk in the street, either.

Of course, it would also require cyclists to signal their lane change every time they pass someone. Along with a host of equally absurd requirements never before enforced on this bike path, or any other that I’m aware of.

So Chris argues that there’s a dotted yellow line dividing the two sides of the path in that section, rather than a solid yellow line, legally allowing him to cross over it in order to pass someone.

When the officer can’t argue that point, the cop switches gears. And instead, writes a ticket for violating the state’s Basic Speed Law, for — wait for it — riding 5 mph in a 10 mph zone.

Never mind the fact that the officer appears to have made up the 10 mph speed limit, which is not posted anywhere along the bikeway. Or anywhere else that I can find, for that matter.

Instead, let’s consider that the Basic Speed Law, CVC 22350, refers only to a speed greater than is reasonable under the circumstances. It says absolutely nothing about going too slowly.

Basic Speed Law

22350.  No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.

And to the best of my knowledge, a bike path is not a highway.

But I could be wrong about that; I’ll let you know if I see a semi-truck and a few speeding SUVs rolling down it when I’m out that way this afternoon.

Maybe the officer meant to write a ticket for CVC 22400, the Minimum Speed Law. Except that pertains only to highways, as well.

Not bike paths.

And part of which only applies to vehicles subject to registration.

In other words, not bikes.

Of course, had the officer written a ticket for that, he likely would have been laughed out of court when the case comes up before a judge on Friday. As he should be for attempting to make up traffic laws on the spot in order to cite a bike rider simply because the rider pissed him off.

Which is not exactly what we should expect from a trained officer sworn to uphold the law, who should have known better.

Or at least, known enough not to admit it on camera.

And I should also point out that it’s not against the law to argue with a cop. Although it’s seldom a good idea.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, take the ticket. Then take it up with the officer’s superiors, or fight it in court.

I’ve reached out to the LAPD’s bike liaisons for the West Traffic Division to see what they have to say on the subject. So far, I haven’t gotten a response; I’ll let you know if I do.

Update: According to KNBC-4, Detective Gus Villanueva of the LAPD’s Media Relations Section says the ticket was canceled “in the interest of justice,” and that the department was conducting an investigation into the officer involved.

Yo! Venice!, which has done a great job keeping on top of this story, reports that the officer involved works out of the West Traffic Division; still no response from the bike liaison from that Division. 

The Biking Black Hole can’t get it right; no justice in Texas, and road rage is all the rage these days

A little news and a whole lot of links to wrap up the week.


Police in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills offer safety tips for cyclists, but can’t manage to get it quite right.

Bike riders are required to ride as close to the right as practicable, not as far right as possible, as they state. There’s a big difference, which any police officer should understand.

And which is scary as hell when they don’t.

Riding as far to the right as possible puts riders in the gutter and door zones, and gives police an excuse to ticket anyone with the audacity to take the lane. Riding as far right as practicable keeps cyclists out of the way of swinging doors and broken glass, and allows them to legally ride in the center of non-sharable lanes.

Which is basically the difference between being bike friendly and observing the law, and making sure riders know they aren’t welcome in your city.

Meanwhile, the city considers adding an handful of bike racks, but banning locking bikes to virtually anything else.

In other words, once again appearing to support cycling while actively discouraging it.


Amazingly, the Texas driver who ran down tandem cyclists Greg and Alexanda Bruehler in 2009 — resulting in the single saddest photo I’ve ever seen — has been acquitted in their deaths.

Clearly, there is no justice for cyclists in the state of Texas.

The driver was doing 79 in a 65 mph zone when he failed to see the riders wearing hi-viz vests, and drifted off the roadway onto the shoulder where they were riding. The defense won the case by arguing that anyone could have could have made the same mistake.

The scary thing is, they’re right.

Even scarier is no one really seems to care. Not even a jury.


There’s been a horrifying number of road rage and traffic violence stories in the news the past few days.

For instance, a Massachusetts driver punches a cyclist in the face after the rider’s bike falls over and scratches his car. Local police don’t get it when a Mass cyclist is deliberately doored. A Pittsburgh cyclist is chased up a flight of stairs, stabbed and cut from ear to ear in a brutal road rage assault. A Texas mixed martial arts fighter has been charged with the shooting death of a cyclist after they apparently argued last year; even in Texas, shooting someone because you feel disrespected is a rather extreme response. A former Florida police officer threatens two cyclists with a knife when one flips him off after he threw something at the riders. A Hamilton Ontario cyclist is beaten by a pickup driver after being yelled at, then grazed by the truck’s mirror. A road-raging Toronto cab driver faces up to five years in prison for backing into a cyclist following a dispute, causing the rider to lose a leg. A UK car passenger is sentenced to three years for jumping out of the car and beating a cyclist to a bloody pulp.

Proving it’s not just drivers, police find their suspect in a methadone clinic after a drunken Colorado cyclist pulls a knife on a driver. A Massachusetts cyclist bends a car’s antenna after an argument with a driver. A New York mob trashes a car after a collision with a cyclist during the Fashion’s Night Out celebration. A 16-year old cyclist breaks into a couple’s home after an argument over an open car door. And closer to home, the OC Weekly’s food writer gets into a little bike on bike action; thanks to David Bain for the heads-up.

So let me offer a little advice.

Having been the victim of a road rage assault, I would much rather get off my bike and let the jackass pass than have an angry, potentially violent, driver behind me.

And no matter how much you think the other party deserves it, violence is never justified — it’s far more likely to jeopardize your own life and freedom than teach the other person a damn thing.

One more bit of hard-earned advice.

Never flip off the driver behind you.

Trust me. I’ve learned the hard way that cars are bigger than me, and they hurt.


Some idiot jackass stole the bike Jerico Culata was riding as he lay dying on last week’s Critical Mass ride; there’s not a pit in hell deep enough for someone like that. Formerly bike-unfriendly Malibu has come a long way, now launching an interactive website to explore improving safety on PCH — for bicyclists and everyone else. The city will also be conducting public hearings on the subject the next four Thursdays. Rapper The Game comes to the rescue of a cyclist who was unresponsive after a crash with his bike on top of him — the cyclist, not The Game — no word on how the rider got that way. LADOT introduces new street signs for Bike Friendly Streets. A Sierra Madre driver sees a girl riding her bike, but steps on the gas instead of the brakes; local police say “oops.”

Bike Lawyer Bob Mionske looks at California’s recently passed three-foot passing law and CEQA exemption for bike lanes. San Clemente gets over $1 million in grants for bike and pedestrian projects. NPR looks at charges that Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital sent jobs from Santa Ana-based GT Bicycles overseas; seems like there’s some truth on both sides. San Diego plans to encourage cycling in the “fun” communities. A San Diego cyclist suffers major leg injuries in a crash with a delivery truck. A North San Diego County writer asks who owns the roads, and correctly concludes we all do. An 18-year old salmon cyclist is seriously injured in a Temecula left cross collision. A bike rider in Perris suffers major injuries in a collision with a minivan on a street that somehow seems to simultaneously run both south and west. Rancho Mirage tells cyclists to walk their bikes on the sidewalk across a bridge — even though it has a bike lane. Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious is run off the bike path by an overly aggressive rider. A Modesto cyclist is killed after both he and the driver who hit him run a four-way stop; guess which one will probably get the blame? San Francisco cyclists will get their own lane on The Embarcadero during next month’s America’s Cup races.

People for Bikes looks at biking to school. A cyclist watches an idiot bike rider from his position behind the wheel; thanks to Jerry Oser for the heads-up. Barbie rides a bike. New foldable bike helmet fits odd shaped heads. Suffering the emotional scars of urban cycling. A Portland man moves forward with a statewide initiative requiring bike license plates and licenses for bike riders. An Albuquerque court imposes the maximum sentence on a drugged driver who killed the bike riding manager of the local REI. The 13-year old Milwaukee girl who laughed about it after killing a cyclist while street racing in a stolen car has been ordered into mental health treatment; well no shit. Ohio suffers three cycling fatalities in one week. An Atlantic City cyclist is killed when he’s caught in the crossfire in a gunfight. An Alabama driver won’t be cited after colliding with a cyclist who was riding on the sidewalks illegally. Long Beach’s bicycling expats, now Portland residents, visit our buddy Zeke in North Carolina. A Florida driver with drugs in her system receives the maximum sentence for killing a cyclist — a six-month suspension of her drivers license; no wonder the Sunshine State leads the nation in bike and pedestrian deaths.

A Toronto writer is taken down by streetcar tracks while trying to maneuver around a truck blocking the right lane. A London magazine editor apologizes after writing that “the only good cyclist is a dead cyclist,” noting that he was merely being ironic with his heartfelt wishes that you and I would just die and get it over with. London considers, probably not seriously, a multi-million-pound network of elevated bikeways. UK driving instructors want bicycle awareness to be part of the driving test. Former Formula 1 driver Alex Zanardi wins gold in the Paralympic handcycle time trial 11 years after losing his legs in a horrific crash. Scottish cyclist Graeme Obree cancels his attempt at a record setting 100 mph bike ride, saying his ride isn’t ready yet. An 11-year old French boy finds a brake lever imbedded in his thigh months after a bike crash; even my stomach turned a little writing that one. One of the better Vueltas in years is slowly coming to a conclusion, as Contador holds a seemingly comfortable lead after bouncing back from a drug scandal that stripped him of his 2010 Tour de France victory; maybe current and former dopers should form their own bike racing league so they can take whatever the hell they want and not have to worry about getting caught.

Finally, a UK cyclist apparently accomplishes the rather remarkable feat of rounding a corner on the sidewalk at 20 mph; even more remarkable is the arthritic pensioner who claims he managed to stop the speeding rider merely by putting his arms out.

Superman ain’t got nothing on him.

Blaming the victim: Beverly Hills police blame sidewalk riding cyclist over dangerous driver

Last week, I received the following email from cyclist and budding brewmeister Todd Mumford.

As you may recall, Todd recently described a collision that left him with minor — though painful — injuries and a badly mangled bike. Now his neighbor has been the victim of a law-breaking driver.

And, apparently, the Beverly Hills police.

Todd notes that the story is second hand, but he has no reason to question his neighbor’s version of events.

He was headed east on Olympic Blvd. At some point he was riding in the street, but jumped on to the sidewalk (there was a car blocking his path or something like that).

He was on the sidewalk when he entered the crosswalk at Olympic/Doheny on a green light with the pedestrian walk sign. According to my neighbor, he checked the road and all was clear as he entered. However, as soon as he got into the crosswalk, he looked left just in time to see an SUV make a right turn from the middle lane at the last second, hitting my neighbor and sending him to the ground; he took the brunt of the impact with his shoulder.

The driver stopped and checked on my neighbor. My neighbor said two or three drivers that witnessed the accident also stopped, and started berating the driver that hit him for driving like a maniac. According to them, the driver of the SUV was speeding down Olympic, weaving in and out of traffic and finally made an illegal right turn from the middle lane before striking my neighbor.

The paramedics arrived as did the police. My neighbor got checked out and nothing appeared broken, but his shoulder was in a lot of pain (it has since become worse and he is going to get it checked to see whether he needs surgery). The police took the statements of the witnesses, the driver and my neighbor.   Their conclusion at the end of the police report was that my neighbor was entirely at fault because he was riding on the sidewalk. (My neighbor also said the police treated him like he did something wrong the entire time.)

Now, as I explained to him, it’s illegal to ride on the sidewalk in Beverly Hills. If he was just a little farther down Olympic he would have been in Los Angeles and it would not have been an issue. What I am wondering is if the police came to their conclusion because the law states it’s illegal to ride on the sidewalk or they think he’s at fault because the driver couldn’t see him because he was riding on the sidewalk.

All of which begs the question, what would the police have concluded had the SUV hit a pedestrian who was walking down the sidewalk had just entered the crosswalk and got hit?

If the police assigned 100% of fault to my neighbor because he broke the law by riding on the sidewalk, they are absolutely in the wrong. There is a legal concept in torts called negligence per se  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negligence_per_se), which, although not applicable here, feels like the police may be following the same concept. “You broke a law, you got hit, your fault.”  I have not seen the police report, but if they assigned 100% of fault to my neighbor, I would assume the driver was not cited for anything.

My neighbor said he has since retained an attorney and the driver’s insurance company assigned 80% of the fault to the driver and 20% to him, which is a small victory.

(As a side note, when I was dealing with the adjustor for the insurance company of the driver that hit me, they asked if I was riding on the sidewalk when I was hit.)

This story raises a number of issues.

Not the least of which is the problem of sidewalk riding, which is legal in some California cities and banned in others. And even legal in some areas of cities that ban it in others, such as Beverly Hills, which bans sidewalk riding only in business districts — even though BHPD bike officers routinely ride on the gilded sidewalks of the city’s Golden Triangle, including Rodeo Drive.

This patchwork of laws makes it virtually impossible for cyclists to comply with the law, as they may have no way of knowing if it is legal or illegal as they pass through the many various communities of the county.

In effect, it’s no different from the speed traps that plagued the state in the ’40s and ’50s. By refusing to post regulations on the street where cyclists who don’t live in the city can see them, jurisdictions that ban sidewalk riding virtually ensure that riders who take to the sidewalk for whatever reason will break the law at some point and be subject to ticketing.

Or worse, as this case points out.

Of course, the one solution is for all cyclists to always ride in the street. But simple common sense says that will never happen, as some riders will always feel more comfortable on the sidewalk, while others will jump on and off as needed to avoid road hazards and dangerous streets.

A better answer is to establish a uniform standard from city to city so it’s actually possible for riders to know and observe the law, wherever they ride.

Then there’s the problem of police in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills ignoring witness statements that the driver broke the law by making a right turn from the wrong lane. And deciding that the relatively minor violation of riding on the sidewalk completely outweighs a reckless driver in a dangerous vehicle putting others at risk by committing a major moving violation.

Despite the driver’s potential to cause harm, they insisted on blaming the victim. Instead of holding people operating vehicles that are capable of killing their fellow road users accountable for operating them in a safe and legal manner, they heaped all the blame on the bike rider, who posed a danger no one but himself.

All of which begs the question, what the f*** is wrong with Beverly Hills??????

Maybe you can ask them yourself.

The Beverly Hills City Council is meeting tomorrow afternoon, Tuesday, March 6th, at 1:30 pm. Bikes are on the agenda — a discussion of the city’s first planned bikeways, making them only 40 years or so behind the rest of the world.

But maybe we can use the opportunity to ask why they seem intent on remaining the most bike-unfriendly city on the Westside.

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