Tag Archive for road rage

Morning Links: Cyclist threatened by Metro driver, SD DUI hearing, and Phoenix scares kids off their bikes

Did a Metro employee try to run down a cyclist while on duty?

That’s what carfree bike rider Randall Fleming says happened to him last week as he rode on South Hope Street in Downtown LA.

He tells his story in the following press release.

Metro-Van-Attempts-to-Run-Down-Bicyclist-Page-1

As noted in the release, Fleming did forward photos of the driver and the van, however, I’ve chosen not to publish them at this time pending further action in this case.

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In a preliminary hearing for Jonathan Domingo Garcia, witnesses report the 23-year old man drove past popular San Diego neighborhood activist Maruta Gardner twice without stopping as she lay dying in the street after he allegedly ran her down while she was cleaning off graffiti.

According to her husband, she had just taken a photo and was putting her Kindle back in the basket of her adult tricycle when Garcia’s car slammed into her.

He faces charges including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run driving after he admitting to drinking and smoking dope before getting into his car.

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Episode 1Let’s give credit to Phoenix AZ, for producing what may be the single most distasteful and off-putting series of bike safety graphic novels ever.

They may actually prove effective in improving safety, however, by scaring kids and their parents off their bikes forever.

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Local

A writer for the New York Times discovers you can actually visit LA without a car, and even participate in CicLAvia while you’re at it. Just don’t pick the watercress downstream from a horse crossing.

Richard Risemberg says LA doesn’t need a test cycle track near the government offices on Los Angeles Street.

Santa Monica is preparing for the arrival of the Expo Line by improving bike and pedestrian facilities in hopes of getting people out of their cars.

A Valencia bike trail was shut down Wednesday, along with two lanes of traffic, when someone left a leaky canister near the curb; about a gallon of the unknown substance leaked into the gutter. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up; she also sends word of Indonesia’s bicycle rickshaw karaoke pedicabs.

Long Beach is looking for public input to refine the city’s 15-year old bike plan; current efforts include a bike/ped bridge over the San Gabriel River, connecting the Atherton Street bikeway to the San Gabriel Bike Trail.

CiclaValley talks with members of Walk Bike Burbank about the city’s first open streets event this Saturday. But don’t oversleep or you’ll miss the hour-long ciclovía from 8:30 to 9:30 am.

Santa Monica Spoke invites you to participate in the local edition of the worldwide Brompton Urban Challenge scavenger hunt on April 30th; they have a limited number of folding bikes you can borrow for the event.

Team LACBC will host a training ride for next month’s Climate Ride on La Tuna Canyon Road this Saturday; everyone is invited to join in, whether or not you’re participating in Climate Ride yourself.

The May edition of the LACBC’s Sunday Funday ride will visit local landmarks in an 18-mile journey through Northeast LA on Sunday, May 1st.

 

State

Police at UC Irvine use a bait bike to bust a pair of bike thieves; one of the men was already on probation for a previous bike theft. Prison overcrowding and an increase in the threshold for felony theft means few bike thieves ever face serious consequences, even if they do get arrested.

Cal Poly SLO won a national challenge to develop a pedal-less fluid-drive bicycle, thanks to a unique clutch design that enabled the bike to coast more efficiently.

An 85-year old Burlingame recumbent rider was injured in a collision with a garbage truck; fortunately, he’s expected to survive. The news wasn’t as good in Clovis, as a 40-something man was killed when he was hit by a car while riding in a bike lane.

Cars have been banned from one of two roadways up San Francisco’s Twin Peaks for a two-year trial period; only bikes and pedestrians will be allowed on the western loop offering the best views of the city.

San Francisco will host the city’s third annual Walk & Bike to Worship Week next month.

Oakland’s famed Telegraph Avenue is getting a green separated bike lane.

 

National

A writer for Popsugar says biking is the best, despite the silly clothes. Seriously, can we get over this whole thing about the ugly cycling attire? You don’t need spandex to ride a bike. And it can actually look pretty damn good on some people.

Assuming it’s stolen, a Salt Lake City man buys a $5,000 bike from a guy at a 7-11 for $300 in hopes of returning it to its owner.

Apparently, a Kansas State University research and extension agent assumes bicycle helmets are the only thing needed for bike safety. Helmets are a last resort for when all else fails; it’s far better to prevent any need for them by avoiding collisions and falls through safer infrastructure, teaching and obeying bike laws and riding defensively.

Over 15,000 bicycles have been stolen in Chicago since 2010. And only 62 recovered.

The Wall Street Journal says ex-UCLA basketball star and famed Dead Head Bill Walton is all about the bicycle these days.

What may be the oldest continuously operated bike shop in the country is still going strong in Queens NY after 98 years.

 

International

A Canadian sous chef chased down a bike thief and recovered a bike stolen from his restaurant after spotting something suspicious; the owner got her bike back after he a note left on the street.

Yesterday we mentioned a story about British thugs stealing a boy’s bike the day before his bar mitzvah in a strong arm robbery; today’s news is better, as kindhearted strangers raise £1,000 to replace it in less than 24 hours.

Bicycling is up 46% over the last decade, though the country’s notorious weather is keeping many off their bikes. Although someone should tell the writer the phrase is “put a damper on,” not “put a dampener on” it. Even if that seems appropriate for the soggy climate.

 

Finally…

Bike corrals can’t stop speeding drivers from running stop signs. Your next BMW could be a $1,590 Long Beach Blue bicycle.

And a new study from the UK shows that eating just 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate boosts endurance as much as beet juice.

And tastes a lot better.

 

They drive among us: Letter writer threatens all cyclists for the water-squirting actions of one

I recently received the following letter from an anonymous source.

I’m told the writer, a Hollywood screenwriter, has circulated it among his friends as a joke. Apparently, one of them didn’t think it was funny.

I can’t imagine anyone else would, either. Let’s hope he specializes in horror; if he’s a comedy writer, he’s in the wrong business.

My source also said he may be trying to get the letter published. So I’m going to do him a favor and publish it for him.

Read it for yourself, and we’ll discuss afterwards.

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Let’s answer that last question first.

No one who isn’t a psychopath is likely to accept that invitation.

Now let’s get this out of the way.

The cyclist who squirted his girlfriend was a jerk. By the simple act of squirting her with water, he committed misdemeanor assault, punishable with a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in county jail.

So let that be your warning.

But it was water. Unless his pretty 20-something girlfriend is a witch, she probably didn’t suffer any lasting injury.

And let’s not forget she was breaking the law by parking in the bike lane, which, despite the perceptions of some people — apparently including our humble letter writer — wasn’t striped on the street to provide a waiting zone or a secondary parking lane.

Under California law, a bike lane is a legal lane of traffic reserved for bicycles, just as HOV lanes are reserved for vehicles with two or more occupants.

And on a busy street like Main, blocking the bike lane can force riders out into traffic, risking their safety in front of drivers who are more focused on finding a parking space than looking for bikes where they don’t expect them.

If the guy on the bike had been hit by a car, she could have been held liable, at least in part, for any injuries he suffered as a result.

Yes, what the guy did was wrong. But so was what the woman in the car did.

And the writer of this letter clearly doesn’t get that.

Then there’s this notion.

Not a Saturday morning goes by that I don’t witness some menace on wheels screaming “Hey watch where you’re going asshole!” at a peaceful and law abiding driver.

Which, unless he encounters an unusual number of mentally unstable people on two wheels, is highly unlikely; few cyclists feel a need to yell at “peaceful and law abiding” drivers.

Unless maybe they’re yelling at him.

Perhaps he just doesn’t understand traffic law well enough to recognize when drivers put people on bikes in needless danger. Like his girlfriend’s parking issues, for instance.

Which leads us to the real problem with this letter, and the person who wrote it.

Back in my starving writer days, the convenience store where I worked nights was robbed by a couple of kids in their early teens. One of whom had to talk his friend out of shooting me to see what it felt like to kill a white guy.

That marked the beginning of a multi-week crime spree that culminated in their arrest for pistol whipping another clerk so badly that he lost an eye.

I could have concluded, as have some I’ve had the misfortune of knowing, that all members of that particular ethnic group, or maybe minorities in general, were somehow to blame.

Even though that would have included my boss, her boss, and the friend-of-a-friend psychologist who volunteered over two hours of his time to talk me through it. Not to mention the woman I was dating at the time.

Yet this writer somehow blames every spandex-wearing person on two wheels for the action of one.

Never mind that some of those who appear to be riding recreationally may actually be riding to work, as part of the group he immediately absolves of collective guilt.

And never mind that some people at the agency that represents him are undoubtedly cyclists themselves. Not to mention at least a few of the studio execs capable of greenlighting his projects.

Which is I’m withholding his name.

It would easy — and admittedly, tempting — to let his own words destroy his career. But rather than grasping just how foolish he was in writing this letter, it would probably just reinforce his belief that we’re the evil creatures he thinks we are.

That brings us to his self-professed life of crime, which ranges from vandalism and simple assault, to criminal stalking and assault with a deadly weapon. Not to mention inciting violence by encouraging others to do the same.

His plan to repeatedly brake-check groups of cyclists — what he calls the “speed up slow down tactic’ — is exactly what got Dr. Christopher Thompson sentenced to four years hard time for slamming on his brakes in front of three riders in Mandeville Canyon.

And we’ll ignore his final chloroform fantasy, which he should take a good whiff of the next time he’s tempted to dash off another letter like this.

So on behalf of recreational bike riders everywhere, I’d like to apologize to his girlfriend, while politely suggesting that she watch where she parks in the future. And maybe reconsider her taste in men.

As for the letter writer, maybe he’d like to join us for a bike ride some time. And see that there’s another way to see the world in which bike riders aren’t the bad guys he thinks we are.

Once he calms down, that is.

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Check back this afternoon for today’s Morning Links.

Morning Links: Non-April Fools edition — Punishment pass in Venice, and a designer bike pop-up on Third Street

Welcome to today’s hopefully April Fools-free Morning Links. I’ve done my best to sort out the fake news, but my apologies in advance if something manages to slip through.

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Nothing like a self-appointed expert on bike law to ruin your ride.

John Montgomery actually collided with a driver making an apparent punishment pass as he rode in Venice, who blamed him for the minor collision, and proceeded to chastise him for riding in the traffic lane instead of hugging the curb.

Then stopped a little further down the street and got out of the car, with a generous offer to kick Montgomery’s ass.

As police officers have explained to me, a motorist can be charged with assault the moment he gets out of his car to confront someone.

Never mind the obvious harassment and violation of the three-foot passing law.

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New York designer Lorenzo Martone will open a pop-up shop for his monochrome bicycles, as well as accessories and his favorite active wear brands near Third and Orlando for the month of April.

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Local

Councilmember David Ryu’s staff continues to study the Rowena Ave road diet.

CiclaValley previews this weekend’s San Dimas Stage Race.

Santa Clarita’s Golden Valley Road bridge over Hwy 14 is in the midst of a widening project that will add two lanes, a pedestrian walkway and a bike path.

BikeSGV invites you to ride with them along Pasadena’s proposed bike-friendly, traffic-calmed street to visit the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens this May as part of Metro’s bike month; admission is free, but limited to just 30 riders.

 

State

A Laguna Beach writer says put bikeshare kiosks everywhere to help solve the city’s traffic problems, and complete the city plan that calls for a bike and pedestrian friendly downtown while they’re at it.

A Fresno bike thief is busted shortly after threatening the victim by saying “It’s not worth dying over” as the man tried to get his bike back.

Police bust a San Jose bike thief the easy way, after discovering a $3,000 bike they impounded was stolen and the thief already in custody on other charges; he and his partner allegedly took four high-end bikes from an apartment complex.

Marin County sheriff’s deputies will use radar guns to monitor the speed of bicyclists; riders on unpaved trails are limited to a maximum speed of 15 mph, and must slow to 5 mph when passing. So, how do you pass a rider doing 10 mph if you have to slow down 5 mph to do it?

 

National

Anchorage AK becomes the latest city to adopt a Vision Zero plan.

Gambler and Instagram celeb Dan Bilzerian wins his $1.2 million bet to ride from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in 48 hours without dying in the process.

My hometown becomes the latest city to get bikeshare before Los Angeles; the new 13-station system kicks off today.

It’s a virtual ciclovía in Yellowstone for the next two weeks, as bike riders are allowed into the national park before cars are let in on the 15th. But if there isn’t anyone else on the road, why are cyclists required to ride single file? It’s not like the bears and bison care.

Wisconsin tries to reduce hit-and-run by requiring drivers who hit anything to stop and investigate, eliminating the all-too-common excuse that they thought they hit a log or a deer, or something else non-human.

A Pennsylvania conference looks at the possibility of installing speed cameras to combat speeding drivers. That’s something we desperately need here in California, where speed limits are merely suggestions. Not to mention the risk speeding motorists pose to anyone not wrapped in a couple tons of steel and glass.

Baltimore police are looking for a cyclist who collided with a four-year old child despite ringing his bike bell. He rode on after stopping to ask if the girl was okay; unfortunately, the child was seriously injured and is now in a body cast.

 

International

The Guardian offers practical advice on how to conquer hills.

Evidently, London’s Daily Mail has never heard swearing before, as they are astonished at the very brief four-letter tirade unleashed by a cyclist when he has to swerve to avoid a car. Then again, their windshield perspective is pretty obvious; someone should tell them it’s not a dashcam video if the user isn’t in a car.

Despite the popularity of London’s new bikeways, opponents call them a 20th Century solution to a 21st Century problem. Meanwhile, a high-level panel discusses how to get more people riding in the city.

Britain’s prime minister is caught riding a bike with his daughter while on vacation, both sans helmet, after he pinky swore not to do that again.

A British driver is found not guilty of attempting to run down the cyclist who ended up on his hood, saying he was just trying to get away after the group of riders harassed him.

Crowdfunding for a $3,100 Chinese smartbike raises $690,000 in just eight days.

 

Finally…

When carrying a massive load of boxes on your three-wheeled e-cargo bike, be sure to leave a tunnel you can see through. Shockingly, bike racers tend to bang into other riders while they race.

And what are bike lanes for? Street racing at speeds up to 85 mph before crashing into a house, evidently.

 

Morning Links: Cyclist nearly rammed by Laguna Cyn driver; man buys bike with bad traveler’s checks in OC

An Orange County rider asks if he should report a horn-blaring driver who apparently tried to ram him while he was riding on Laguna Canyon Sunday afternoon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiHMT1jNGb4&feature=youtu.be

The short answer is yes.

What he caught on video is a case of assault with a deadly weapon, no different than if the road raging driver had threatened him with a gun.

But even if the authorities refuse to prosecute, it can lay the groundwork for future action against the driver if he or she does it again. It was the prior police reports of Dr. Christopher Thompson’s threatening behavior towards other riders that helped ensure a conviction and a four year prison sentence in the Mandeville Canyon case.

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Costa Mesa police are asking for the public’s help in finding a man who bought a $1,700 bike with fake traveler’s checks; anyone with information is urged to call 714/754-4873.

Wait. People still use traveler’s checks?

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The Malibu Gran Fondo is partnering with nonprofit organizations The Pablove Foundation and Network for Advancing Athletes for the March 5th and 6th event.

And wet your appetite for LA-based pro cyclist Phil Gaimon’s inaugural Malibu Gran Cookie Dough this November, combining “great bike riding” through the Malibu hills with the “classy fun of cookies” from celebrity chef Jeff Mahin.

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Legendary framebuilder Dave Moulton writes about the passing of San Marcos framebuilder Brian Baylis.

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It’s one thing for a rider to be attacked by one dog; surrounded by 25 or so is another matter.

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Local

Streetsblog reports Caltrans’ plans for a new toll flyover exit ramp off the 110 Freeway would dump freeway traffic onto South Figueroa, jeopardizing the long-planned MyFigueroa Complete Streets makeover, as well as a historic church. You have until March 21st to tell them where (else) they can stick it.

Metro is negotiating with Lyft to collect data on first mile/last mile trips that begin and end at transit stations, while looking forward to bikeshare to help solve some of that problem.

An LA model and former 30-mile a day cyclist returns to the runway after losing a leg, and nearly her life, due to toxic shock syndrome. Let’s hope she’s back on her bike, as well.

Santa Monica looks forward to a future offering real transportation choices, including the city’s Breeze bikeshare.

CiclaValley examines the hate some people spew towards cyclists on the Internet, usually, but not always, behind the mask of anonymity.

 

State

Grist considers Calbike’s proposal to rebate up to half the cost of a commuter bike under the state’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project.

Ventura police still haven’t released any additional information in the hit-and-run death of a 14-year old bike rider last week.

A Laguna Beach woman founded Project Bike Love to empower women in developing countries through the gift of a bicycle.

This should be fun. The Monterey stage of the Amgen Tour of California will finish on the famed Laguna Seca raceway.

 

National

An Oregon cyclist says we should hold ourselves to the same standards we expect drivers to obey when it comes to following traffic laws.

A Seattle TV station examines how bike lanes are paid for, explaining that the view from city hall is taxing bicyclists for bike lanes makes no more sense than taxing pedestrians to pay for sidewalks.

The widow of a Colorado cyclist killed by a distracted truck driver has channeled her grief into a heartbreaking public service announcement begging drivers to pay attention.

Northern Iowa cyclists say proposed legislation that goes way beyond a three-foot law by requiring drivers to change lanes to pass a cyclists is much needed, following too many close calls.

Great story from Texas, as a three cyclists out for a ride through the country rescue 22 abandoned puppies; all of the pups were quickly adopted. And a good idea, as one of the women carries dog food on her bike just in case she sees a stray. That’s just one more advantage of riding a bike; anyone in a car would have likely driven by without ever seeing the dogs. Or maybe run over them.

Now that Houston has a new 709-mile bike plan, they need to come up with the money to pay for it. Sort of like pretty much every city everywhere trying to re-envision their streets for people instead of cars.

A story posted on the London School of Economics website examines the rapid rise of bicycling in Memphis, while asking whether new bikeways simply reinforce existing racial inequality and spur racialized gentrification.

Angry Tennesseans rise up to fight a proposal to prohibit funds from gas taxes from being used for bicycling and pedestrian projects.

Randonneurs from around the world are concerned about Saturday’s North Carolina crash that took out four of their fellow riders, injuring two critically; one of the critically injured riders is the webmaster for bikelaw.com. Police say alcohol wasn’t a factor, but don’t say anything about other intoxicants; the driver who hit them was on probation for felony drug charges.

 

International

Vancouver will launch a 100 station bikeshare program this summer.

A Toronto constable helped change the conversation on cycling by becoming the city’s first bike cop in 1989, and advocating for bicycling ever since.

The last two cyclists attempting to break the year record set by American rider Kurt Searvogel last year have thrown in the towel.

A London cyclist suspects bike thieves are targeting certain bicycles to order after two men on a scooter attempted to push her off her Brompton.

WaPo looks at a Danish city so bike friendly, even five-year olds are encouraged to bike to school.

The next time someone tells you (insert city here) isn’t Amsterdam, remind them that Amsterdam wasn’t always like that, either. Gizmodo traces the transformation of the city through a compelling series of before and after photos. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson and joninsocal for the heads-up.

A Basque women’s race issues a new poster designed by a woman rider after the previous one was withdrawn following charges it was sexist. Seriously, is it that hard to simply promote women’s racing as a competitive event?

The author of a petition to ban bikes entirely from roads through an Aussie mountain range swears it’s not anti-cycling; so far, it’s only gathered 30 similarly non-anti-bike signatures.

No anger issues here. An Aussie man is charged with deliberately chasing and running down a young bike-riding boy after he and his friends accidently knocked over the man’s garbage can.

A new study from the University of Duh shows real time weather information affects Singapore cyclists’ riding decisions. As does looking out the window and seeing it’s raining.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a semi-walking wooden Penny Farthing. Or maybe you’d prefer to ride your bike while working at your desk.

And it’s not often a driver apologizes for a dangerously close pass, let alone posts it on a freeway overpass; it’s even less often a thief returns a stolen bike a year later, complete with a note of apology.

 

Morning Links: Glendale bike rider attacked by SUV driver, and guilty plea in 100 mph Orange County DUI case

It’s happened again.

A woman riding her bike in Glendale is the latest bike rider to be the victim of an apparent intentional assault by the road raging driver of a motor vehicle.

The 29-year old woman, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding on San Fernando Road near Magnolia Ave around 4:40 pm last Friday when the driver of an SUV allegedly pulled up next to her and swerved into her bike, striking her ankle.

After the victim yelled that she’d been hit, the driver yelled something back and swerved into her again, nearly crushing the rider between the SUV and a parked car after she turned her bike to avoid getting hit.

Police arrested 53-year old Glendale resident Nazik Ghazarian on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon; she was taken into custody after another driver blocked her car while bystanders called police.

Meanwhile her legally blind husband, who was riding with her in the SUV, told police Ghazarian did nothing to “agitate” the cyclist.

The victim reported pain in her ankle, but declined treatment at the scene.

After all, who would get agitated over a little thing like multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon?

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The OC Register reports 20-year old Dominic Devin Carratt faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to the DUI death of cyclist Haitham Gamal as the victim was riding home from work in April, 2014.

In a horrifying detail that wasn’t reported at the time, Carratt was going over 100 mph when he slammed into Gamal’s bike; he had a BAC nearly twice the legal limit, despite being just 19-years old at the time of the wreck.

According to the paper, he pled to a long list of charges.

Carratt pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit causing bodily injury and he admitted a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury.

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Pro cycling’s governing body considers testing team bikes before each race to prevent motor doping. They should also stop the practice of allowing riders to switch bikes mid-race, which is the easiest way to get, and hide, a tampered bike.

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Local

The LA City Council Transportation Committee will consider a motion directing LADOT to report on the implementation of the bicycle infrastructure in the City at this afternoon’s meeting. Based on recent progress, that could be a very short report.

Several dozen protesters associated with T.R.U.S.T. South Los Angeles gathered on Central Ave to fight a proposal from Councilmember Curren Price to remove the street from the Mobility Plan. Someone should tell Price not to judge a bikeway by what he’d be comfortable using; not everyone is looking for a quiet place to ride with their grandkids.

The maker of Lucky Brand jeans offers their own private bikeshare system for employees of their offices in DTLA.

High-end British bikewear maker Rapha pops up on Abbot Kinney for the next two months.

Caltrans presents alternatives to replace the Trancas Creek bridge on PCH in the ‘Bu; both versions include a wider shoulder to make room for bikes and pedestrians.

A Pasadena bike rider is in serious condition after he was hit head-on by a driver who veered onto the wrong side of the road.

Temple City will select a final design for Las Tunas Road at the city council meeting on Thursday; make your voice heard to ensure they choose the safest option for cyclists and pedestrians.

 

State

A group of Olympic cyclists and hopefuls, including the great Kristin Armstrong, urged middle school students in El Cajon to believe in themselves. And have fun.

A Berkeley OpEd says the city needs to work to provide greater safety for bicyclists.

More bad news from Sacramento, as a second bike rider has been killed in a collision this week.

 

National

A Portland study says a good bikeway network helps riders avoid dirty air.

Las Vegas’ coming bikeshare system will be just part of a new transportation innovation district in the downtown area.

Wyoming considers creating a committee to study a network of bike and pedestrian paths crossing the state. Having crisscrossed the state many times, safe bikeways through the mountains and prairies of the state would be absolutely amazing; you haven’t lived until you’ve ridden with a herd of wild antelope running alongside you.

The Kentucky state senate approves a three-foot passing bill, including a provision allowing drivers to cross the center line to pass cyclists, even in no passing zones, similar to the one vetoed by Governor Brown a few years ago.

Residents of Hoboken would rather double park than make room for bike lanes.

Jimmy Fallen is one of us, as he cruises sans skid lid through the Hamptons on a $6,000 fat bike.

A Savannah GA writer credits recent bike lanes with the city’s jump in bike commuting rates, but fears they’ve reached peak bike with no more bikeways on the agenda.

 

International

Road.cc offers a roundup of a number of new bikes from top makers, including a Look time trial bike that would be perfect for your morning commute.

If you build it, they will come. A Toronto study shows bicycling is up 300% on one street since a separated bike lane was installed; 38% of those riders didn’t use the street before the bike lane was built.

An exceptionally compassionate Canadian family urges the court to sentence a hit-and-run driver to probation instead of jail for the death of a bike rider.

A candidate for mayor of London says bicycling in the city is quite safe, even though he won’t let his own teenage daughters do it.

Social media blows up when an English rail station operator suggests a traveler and his family should just leave their bikes at home.

Britain’s leading bike retailer is accused of sexism for saying a men’s bike is great for riding on pavement or trails, while the women’s version is good for visiting Auntie Doris.

A South African cyclist is visiting all 19 of the country’s national parks, riding over 3,700 miles in 80 days to raise funds for orphaned rhinos. Meanwhile, a Durban DJ learns the hard way not to make fun of fallen cyclists on Facebook.

A 24-year old Chinese man who once walked across the US is planning to bike from San Francisco to China on a pilgrimage to “explore the ecological and spiritual awakening in the 21st century and the cultural landscape and the political economy of the global village, through the lens of China’s interconnectedness with the world.” Oh, well if that’s all.

 

Finally…

Bashing people and cars is not the correct use for a cable bike lock; then again, neither is locking your bike with one for more than a few minutes. Seriously, don’t stab someone if you think he stole your bike; at least that’s better than how they treat bike thieves in Bali, though.

And British police appear to be looking for a maniacal bike-borne pedestrian pusher with multiple personalities.

 

Morning Links: Glendale driver brake-checks cyclists; Newport Beach legal settlement could fix deadly intersection

In case you haven’t seen it already, the big story of the day was a driver assaulting two cyclists riding in Glendale.

CiclaValley broke the story, reporting that the incident happened sometime last week as friends of his were riding on Chevy Chase Drive.

In the video, you can clearly hear an impatient driver honking from behind as the cyclists ride just outside the door zone, even though the bike computer visible at the bottom of the screen appears to show they’re traveling at 27 mph.

The driver then buzzes them at an unsafe distance, in clear violation of the three-foot passing law, before slamming on his brakes and brake-checking the riders, nearly forcing one off the road while the other has to swerve dangerously out into traffic to avoid rear-ending the car.

Yet even though this is an obvious case of assault with a deadly weapon — in fact, Dr. Christopher Thompson got five years for a similar incident — CiclaValley implies the Glendale police have been slow to act, at best.

Using a car in a violent manner should be no different under the law than if the driver had taken out a gun and shot at the riders. And should be taken just as seriously, especially since there’s video evidence of the assault.

The one problem with using video like this to press charges, according to officers at the last meeting of the LAPD bike liaisons, is that it’s difficult to prove who was behind the wheel.

Yet even that is not a factor here, since KNBC-4 tracked down the driver, who freely admits he was the driver in the video.

According to his version of events, he honked as he passed — for reasons he failed to explain, just as he failed to explain the apparent punishment pass — then slammed on his brakes after he heard something hit his car, suggesting that one of the riders hit it as he passed.

Yet the video clearly shows that never happened.

There’s no sound of a smack against a car, which should have been clearly audible. And there’s no wobble of the bike, which would have been inevitable if the rider had reached out and hit a hard object as it zoomed by.

The unidentified man, who says he’s a former cyclist himself, portrays himself as the victim in this incident, and says he was just trying to get away from those scary men who were attacking him.

Even though he was the one who honked for no apparent reason. And he was the one who passed dangerously close, even though he was legally required to be well out of their reach. And he was the one who slammed on his brakes directly in front of the two bike riders.

KNBC is no doubt patting themselves on the back for tracking the driver down and getting an exclusive interview with him. But they should be hanging their heads in shame for failing to confront him about the obvious holes in his story, accepting at face value an excuse that is both implausible and demonstratively false.

As should the Glendale police for failing to take action to protect people who are using the streets in a safe and legal manner.

They will most likely claim this is a case of he said/she said, and try to wash their hands of the matter.

But the evidence is right there on the video. All they have to do is look at it.

This just in: CiclaValley breaks down the driver’s statement in great detail, and doesn’t find a lot of truth to it. Or any, for that matter.

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

………

After the authorities refused to press charges, Philadelphia bicyclist posted video of a confrontation with a road raging hearse driver who hit him with the van’s mirror, and threatened him for the crime of kicking over a traffic cone.

………

Most legal settlements involving cyclists include a payment to the victim to help recover his or her loses.

It’s not often one tries to keep it from happening again.

Torrance law firm AgnewBrusavich announced a settlement with Caltrans and the City of Newport Beach over the death of 58-year old cyclist Debra Deem in 2013.

According to the settlement, Caltrans will pay $450,000, while Newport Beach will kick in another $225,000. But more importantly, both agreed to help fix the deadly intersection where it happened.

Deem had been riding north on PCH in Newport Beach around 4:30 pm on August 27th when she approached the intersection at Newport Coast Drive, where a freeway-style exit lane allows drivers to turn right without slowing down, and forces riders to cross high-speed traffic in order to go straight.

She was hit from behind by an 84-year old driver exiting PCH, and died the next day.

According to the lawsuit, Newport Beach was well aware of the dangers to cyclists at that intersection; in fact, a 2009 Bike Safety Task Force identified it as the intersection most in need of safety improvements.

Now that may finally happen.

The settlement negotiated by attorney Bruce Brusavich requires the city to cooperate with traffic safety experts selected by him and Deem’s husband, Cycle Werks owner Paul Deem, to design improvements to the intersection. And Caltrans will be legally required to consider those improvements in good faith.

Though evidently, not required to implement them.

It’s too late to help Debra Deem. But maybe this settlement can keep it from happening to someone else.

………

More bad news from the world of bike racing, as Claudio Clarindo, the world’s 12th ranked ultra-distance cyclist, was killed in a collision while training in Brazil, and his riding partner severely injured. Clarindo was a five-time finisher in the Race Across America, aka RAAM.

……..

Local

Continuing the theme of angry drivers, a Santa Monica cyclist encounters a driver who apparently wasn’t pleased with where he was riding. Maybe the fumes from that Porter Ranch gas leak is making drivers crazy; twice in the last week I’ve had drivers get out of their cars to physically threaten me while I’ve been walking.

LACBC board member and BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass explains the new state laws affecting bike riders.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with bike advocate Wes Reutimann, executive director of Bike SGV, about the proposed bike park at the former Puente Hills Landfill; you can sign the petition to support it here.

 

State

California is finally getting rid of the outdated LOS (Level of Service) requirement for environmental rules; the previous rules meant that removing bike lanes didn’t require an environmental review, while installing them often did.

The inventor of the cardboard-based Kranium bike helmet is suing a consortium of investors in San Diego, alleging they lied about contacts with retailers and failed to pay what they promised.

A new $5 million development in San Diego’s Imperial Beach will cater to bike riders and pedestrians with cafes, a bike shop and water station.

Police in El Centro say they don’t have enough evidence to get a warrant to look for a bike tourist’s stolen bike, even though they tracked the bike’s GPS to a house; when no one answered the door, they apparently gave up. Seriously, you’d think a GPS reading saying the bike was inside would be enough for a search warrant, but what the hell do I know.

 

National

The City Metric website asks if road diets are the next big thing for American cities, then suggests car culture may be too deeply entrenched for that to happen.

Vancouver WA gets its first green lanes.

A proposed Nebraska bill would repeal the state’s outdated must-use law requiring cyclists to use a bike path if one runs parallel to the roadway, although it may have a difficult time moving forward in the legislature.

A Dallas writer says cyclists and runners need to work together to make roads safer in the face of their common enemy, the motorist.

Nice program from a Connecticut school, allowing students to earn credit towards buying a refurbished bicycle, as well as establishing a bike club and teaching them to fix bikes.

A New York study shows that split-phase traffic signals that allow cyclists and pedestrians to cross an intersection before motor vehicles are twice as effective in reducing injuries as the more common mixing zones that send everyone through at once.

 

International

C is for Coffee, D is for Drafting, as Cycling Weekly offers the A to Z of bike riding.

A British letter writer complains about bicyclists blocking the sidewalk by chaining their bikes to posts and railings. If bike riders are locking their bikes up wherever they can, maybe it’s a sign that there’s not enough safe bike parking in the area.

If you can afford an electric car, you can now silently sneak up on cyclists in British bus lanes, where bike riders previously only had to contend with noisy buses and cabs.

Drivers usually get a slap on the wrist for killing a bicyclist; a UK German Shepard just won a three-year battle to overturn his death sentence for biting one.

Cyclelicious looks at a crowdsourced, lock-free bike parking solution in Latvia. And one that could easily work here.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have an 18-speed front wheel drive, although pedaling while turning may be just a tad awkward. Getting out on your bike could improve your sex life.

And screw OKCupid and Tinder; all you need to find true love is Strava.

 

Morning Links: 77-year old victim of bike hit-and-run dies, arrest made in Expo Park road rage murder case

Sadly, the 77-year old Echo Park man injured in a collision with a bicyclist has died.

The Eastsider reports Levon Avetisyan was crossing Glendale Blvd on his way to Echo Park Lake on October 15th, when he was hit by a rider described only as a white man in his 40s. He was hospitalized in grave condition with severe head trauma, and passed away on Sunday.

While police have described this case as a hit-and-run, the rider initially did the right thing by remaining at the scene until paramedics arrived. However, he left before police arrived, without leaving his name or contact information.

It’s possible the rider may not have realized he needed to stay, just like he would in any other injury collision.

If you know this person, tell him to contact a lawyer, then come forward by calling LAPD Central Traffic Division detectives at 213-833-3713.

………

In case you missed it earlier, an arrest has finally been made in the alleged road rage death of a bike rider next to Expo Park last month.

Or more precisely, the arrest of the suspect has finally been announced.

Thirty-five year old Ruben Wharton Vanegas was killed after he reportedly got into an argument with the driver of an SUV on October 15th. A witness reported that the driver pushed him off his bike, then threatened to run over him, before doing exactly that.

Word broke today that police had actually arrested 32-year old Andrew Williams just four days after the fatal argument; he was held in lieu of $1 million bail.

Williams was scheduled to be arraigned on charges of murder and felony hit-and-run yesterday, but the hearing was put off until November 20th. He faces 25 years to life if convicted on all charges.

Why there was no public announcement of the arrest until now is unclear.

……….

The breaking news overshadowed Wednesday’s guest post from LA BAC member Jonathan Weiss discussing when it’s legal to ride two or more abreast, and why.

It’s a must read for anyone who rides with friends or in a group. Not to mention law enforcement officers at every level, since the law is often misinterpreted and cyclists too often ticketed for something that is legal under California law.

……….

The College of Environmental Design at Cal Poly Pomona is hosting a reception to honor famed alternative transportation advocate Gil Penalosa in DTLA on Tuesday the 17th.

This free after-hours reception/mixer is a great opportunity to meet Guillermo “Gil” Penalosa, the founder and chairman of 8-80 Cities, previously served as the commissioner of parks, sport and recreation in Bogotá, Colombia, leading a team that designed and built more than 200 parks and opened 50-plus miles of car-free city roads for biking, walking, running and skating. His team is responsible for initiating the “new Ciclovia” — a program internationally recognized and emulated — which sees 1 million people walk, run, skate and bicycle along 121 kilometers of Bogotá’s city roads every Sunday.

The event will be held at Diego Cardoso Gallery in downtown Los Angeles.  More details and tickets are available here.

………

Local

LADOT is taking applications for more People Street projects, ranging from parklets to bike corrals.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman says there needs to be a larger discussion of the issues affecting mobility in lower-income communities than just how they fit into a bike-specific box.

CiclaValley gets psyched up for Sunday’s Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer hill climb competition.

BikeSGV calls for bike riders to turn out at a community open house next Tuesday in support of a proposed bike park at the site of the former Puente Hills landfill.

 

State

The 26th annual conference of the Bicycle Tour Network kicked off in San Diego on Wednesday, though some attendees had their flights delayed or diverted due to an active shooter near the airport.

Bicyclists present the results of a Lodi bike summit on how to make the city a cycling destination. Maybe John Fogerty wouldn’t mind being stuck in Lodi again then.

The victim of Tuesday’s Palo Alto bicycling collision was the 52-year old chief operating officer of a San Jose instrument company.

SFist complains that San Francisco police are once again blaming the victim in a fatal bike collision, while refusing to release video that could shed light on the crash; police say the victim should have been riding in a non-existent bike lane.

More bad news from the Sacramento area, as a bike rider was killed in a collision on Wednesday.

 

National

Writing for Bicycling Retailer, Rick Vosper looks at the culture of fear that inevitably blames the bike rider, and makes bicycling look more dangerous than it is.

Bike Snob Eben Weiss makes the case for replacing the word accident with the more accurate crash, saying the former is just a cop-out.

Interesting piece from Next City that says business-as-usual fails to engage low-income bike riders.

Former Ford CEO Bill Ford sees a world moving away from the personal car.

Bicycling wants to see photos of your bike-riding dog.

The Honolulu city council considers a proposal requiring any future bike lanes to be approved by the full council, following complaints over the city’s first protected bike lane.

Dallas advocates say the city needs more bike lanes to thrive; it currently has just 41.5 miles of bike lanes, compared to nearly 12,000 miles of lanes for motorized traffic.

Bicycling rates skyrocket after Detroit installs 150 miles of new bike lanes. Soon they’ll object to bike lanes by saying LA is no Detroit.

Actress Keri Russell is one of us, as she and boyfriend/costar Matthew Rhys ride through Brooklyn on his and hers Linus bikes.

A Miami man goes on trial for killing two cyclists while fleeing from the police following a botched car burglary.

 

International

Caught on video: Urban mountain bikers take a downhill run through the former stronghold of Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

In a first in North America, Calgary unveiled an entire network of protected bike lanes at once following five years of effort and community engagement; ridership is up 300% on one key corridor.

Ottawa city counselors compromise on a proposal to limit ghost bikes and other roadside memorials, approving a six-month limit rather than the three months recommended by city staff. Although they sort of make up for it with plans for a protected bike lane that takes advantage of barriers protecting the US Embassy.

Cycling Weekly offers up eleven bike maintenance mistakes and how to avoid them. I’m sometimes guilty of number seven, but only until noticing my brakes don’t work the first time I try to stop.

A writer for the UK’s Telegraph says cyclists other than himself are stupid and thoughtless, and giving us all a bad name. Yes, we should all obey the law and ride safely; many, if not most, of us do. But enough with the “I’m okay, you suck” BS.

City Lab looks at the success of the UK’s 20’s Plenty movement; nearly 25% of the country’s population now lives in communities where the speed limit has been lowered to 20 mph.

An Irish cyclist was wearing a helmet and had lights front, back and on his backpack, and a jury still absolves the truck driver who killed him, while calling for reflective wear for cyclists. Evidently, it’s not enough to light yourself up like a Christmas tree anymore.

The Netherlands presents the Tour de France with a bill for over $150,000 after allegedly getting stiffed for hosting the start of this year’s race.

A far reaching Turkish regulation is designed to encourage bicycling rather than public transport, ensuring that bikeways go onto streets with a topography suitable for riding, and connect with public transport.

 

Finally…

Forget foam, soon you can protect your skull with helmet made of custom-fit mushrooms. But don’t despair, there may be other uses for your current helmet.

And why sleep outside when you can go bike touring with your very own 100-pound bike-pulled camper?

Other than having to pull 100 pounds plus all your gear, that is.

 

Update: Arrest made in Expo Park road rage attack; driver charged with murder, hit-and-run

Evidently, it was a secret.

In a surprise announcement, My News LA reports a suspect in last month’s fatal road rage assault near Exposition Park is under arrest — and has been since four days after the October 15th incident.

Thirty-two-year old Andrew Williams was scheduled to be arraigned today on felony counts of murder and hit-and-run in the death of 35-year old Ruben Wharton Vanegas, who had not been previously identified.

That confirms an earlier witness report that Williams had been arguing with Vanegas, and had threatened to run him over before doing exactly that.

Williams has apparently been in jail the past 16 days in lieu of $1 million bond. He faces 25 to life upon conviction, according to the site.

Update: Williams arraignment has been delayed until November 20th.

Morning Links: Don’t confront angry drivers, salmon cyclist injured in Boyle Heights, near miss in OC, and CicLAvia!

Some stories are just too outrageous for words.

That was the case with yesterday’s murder of a bicyclist by a road-raging SUV driver who fled the scene after running down the victim near Expo Park following an argument.

We won’t rehash the whole story here.

But it serves as a tragic reminder that you never know who you’re dealing with on the roads. And if you encounter an angry driver, it’s better not to engage if possible.

Just pull over, and let them go on their way. A lesson I learned the hard way, after bouncing off the bumper of a road raging driver when I made the mistake of responding to her anger with a single raised finger.

Rule #1: Never flip off the driver behind you.

If they come after you, try to ride to a public place. Take your bike into a store if you need to.

Make a public display of calling 911, or ask witnesses to call the police.

I’ve also found that taking a photo of the driver and the license of the vehicle with your smartphone will diffuse most situations. Although pointing out that you’re recording everything on your helmet cam seems to have the opposite effect.

Try to speak calmly. Don’t yell or get into a shouting match. Just find a way to get out of the situation as quickly and painlessly as possible.

I don’t mean to preach.

That advice is a reminder for me as much as it is for you or anyone else.

I’ve got a long history of standing my ground and fighting for my right to the road through words and gestures. Even going so far as to block offending drivers with my bike and body, and shoving car doors closed to keep drivers or passengers from getting out and kicking my ass.

I’ve somehow managed to get away it. Except for that one time.

But as that case and this one make clear, it’s just not worth the risk.

………

A salmon cyclist suffered major injuries in a head-on collision in Boyle Heights Monday night.

………

A drunk driver lost control of his car and went off PCH in Huntington Beach, coming to rest in the sand; the driver and a passenger were arrested trying to flee on foot.

A friend reports she would have been passing through that exact spot at the time of the crash as she rode her bike home along the beach, if she hadn’t stopped to watch the lightening display and ended up talking with a driver who’d pulled over to watch, as well.

It’s funny how often little things like that can make all the difference in getting home safely.

………

CicLAvia returns to the scene of the crime for the fifth anniversary of the original Heart of Downtown event.

Speaking of which, the Militant Angeleno is back with his epic guide to Sunday’s CicLAvia route. Seriously, you need to memorize this, print it or download it to your phone before you head out on Sunday.

And there will be a feeder ride to CicLAvia from Culver City.

………

In pro cycling, the Tinkoff-Saxo cycling team is now just Tinkoff, as the team lost Saxo Bank after eight years of sponsorship.

And it’s not just the riders facing a doping ban anymore, as USA Cycling extends a zero tolerance policy to its staff and contractors.

………

Local

The Alliance for Community Transit is hiring an Organizing Coordinator, and a Campaign and Communications Coordinator. And they’ll be hosting a community event in Grand Park on Monday to discuss what a sustainable, transit-rich LA could look like.

Jimmy Kimmel gives a non-bicycling staff writer a bike riding lesson behind his Hollywood studio.

Great news from the Valley, as design work begins for another 12 miles of bike paths along the LA River. Although the story doesn’t say if it will connect with the existing LA River bike path.

CiclaValley says Metro has plans for a bigger, bolder, and hopefully more bikeable NoHo. Let’s hope those plans include the long promised Lankershim bike lanes that were squashed by the unlamented Tom LaBonge.

It’s official. South Pasadena will host the second stage of next year’s Amgen Tour of California.

Long Beach needs volunteers for its eighth annual bike count on Sunday, which unfortunately takes place the same time as CicLAvia.

 

State

A Huntington Beach bicyclist suffered critical injuries when he was rear-ended while riding in the bike lane on Warner Ave.

Newly bike friendly San Diego is ranked as the 12th greenest city in the US.

A Santa Cruz writer plays Miss Manners for mountain bikers for a day.

San Francisco cyclists have an interesting new transportation option, as they can now lease a $2000 e-bike for $79 a month, including a lock, theft insurance and unlimited maintenance.

A Rancho Cordova cyclist is lucky to survive a collision with a light rail train.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Granite Bay man celebrated his 90th birthday by riding his 200,000th mile on his bike. By my calculations, I only have somewhere around 18,000 miles and a few more decades to go.

 

National

Microsoft is working on predictive intelligence to prevent bicycle collisions before they happen. Except when they have to reboot the system, download and install upgrades or fight off a virus, that is.

CNET looks at the growing popularity and expanding choices in e-bikes.

Next City offers eight images and videos it says will make you fall more in love with bikeshare.

A new Portland apartment building is only 80% leased, but the bike parking is already overflowing.

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho police are looking for a hit-and-run cyclist who plowed into a jogger after calling “on your left,” then not doing it.

The driver who nearly killed a Denver bike cop who was protecting protesting high school students faces up to nine years in prison after pleading guilty to vehicular assault; he lied about an existing medical condition when he applied for a drivers license.

An Arkansas county sobriety court has started their own bikeshare program — actually more of a bike library — to provide transportation for drivers who’ve had their licenses suspended for DUI.

The Minneapolis StarTribune talks with Stephen Clark, the bicycle-friendly community program specialist for the League of American Bicyclists.

Evidently, not everyone loves Detroit’s Slow Roll Bike Rides.

A New York truck driver was high on coke when he killed a cyclist in an apparent right hook.

The NYPD doesn’t just think bike lanes are for parking, they’re also a dump for precinct garbage.

A Brooklyn paper offers a by the numbers look at bicycling in the borough.

City Lab says that DC church’s claimed opposition to bike lanes for religious freedom is really all about free parking. Oddly, I don’t recall Jesus saying anything about being able to park right in front of a house of worship.

 

International

City and state governments around the world are finally using data to harness the benefits of the bicycling boom.

Two Winnipeg men are under arrest for attacking a car after the right-turning driver had hit a bike rider as she came off the sidewalk.

A Toronto writer reflects on the intersection of bicycling and jazz, including a hair-raising ride from Hollywood to attend a recording session in Studio City with the great Lee Ritenour, aka Captain Fingers. I’ve often thought riding through traffic felt like a jazz improvisation, as you slide in and out of ever expanding and collapsing spaces, speeding up and slowing down with the flow around you.

The UK’s Cycling Weekly offers advice on winter riding, some of which actually applies in sunny Los Angeles.

Horrifying crime from Austria, as four masked men push a bike rider to the ground and carve a swastika into his forehead.

A commuter in Malta tried five different forms of transportation before concluding that riding a bike was the most efficient way to get to work.

A Singapore judge suggests cracking down on rash cycling with jail time or a fine up to the equivalent of $1800.

Aussie cops take the country’s mandatory helmet law to a ridiculous extreme by fining a helmet-wearing woman $70 because her strap wasn’t tight enough.

Only in Japan would separated bike lanes be intended to protect cyclists from pedestrians instead of cars.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying a knife, sawed-off shotgun, drugs and trafficking paraphernalia, don’t ride on the sidewalk and put a damn bell on your bike. If you’re hiding a meth pipe on your bike, maybe it’s better not to ride with a .22-caliber rifle strapped to it.

And it may be smart, it may be electric, it may be a foldie, but if it doesn’t have pedals, it’s a freaking scooter, not a bike.

 

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.

………

Local

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.

 

State

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.

 

National

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.

 

International

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.

 

Finally…

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.

 

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