Tag Archive for San Francisco

Morning Links: BOLO alert for bike-riding South Gate slasher, and man on bike attacks 85-year old SF man

LA sheriff’s deputies are on the lookout for a bike-riding South Gate slasher.

According to reports, the man attacked at least three people in the South Gate area Wednesday morning, apparently at random. One women was slashed in the face, while another woman and a man escaped with scratches.

He’s described as a dark-skinned Hispanic man in his 30s with a shaved head, and wearing black clothing. He was last seen riding a black bike with mountain bike frame and oversized wheels.

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San Francisco police are looking for a bike-riding man who ripped down a banner at an anti-abortion protest, then physically assaulted an 85-year man who tried to stop him.

Seriously, regardless of your beliefs and politics, violence is never the answer.

Especially when it comes to older people who break easily, and can’t defend themselves.

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Maybe those hips lie, after all.

Shakira and Carlos Vives denied allegations that they plagiarized their international hit La Bicicleta from a Cuban singer, who insisted it was too similar to his number from couple decades back.

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Olympic cyclist and Bicycling test editor Bobby Lea tries out a $28 bike trainer from discount grocer Aldi. And finds it doesn’t suck.

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A new video from Team LACBC says this is how we roll. But you’ll have to click the link, because the video wouldn’t embed for some reason.

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Local

Singer Hailey Reinhart is one of us, saying she does some of her best songwriting while riding on the bike path on Playa del Rey.

Cement maker CEMEX USA parked a cement truck outside the Rose Bowl for last weekend’s Bike MS to call attention to road safety, saying drivers, bike riders and pedestrians all need to look out for each other. Although only one of those actually poses a significant risk to those around them.

The mayor of Santa Clarita says the city is working to improve traffic safety, despite the deaths of a bike rider and a pedestrian just blocks apart this year.

Santa Clarita’s recent crackdown on traffic safety violations resulted in 34 citations; no word on how they were distributed between drivers, bike riders and pedestrians.

State

Spin is just the latest company to enter the scooter wars in San Diego, joining Bird, Lime and Razor.

Fremont drivers are tired of a 15-month construction project to create an elevated, protected bike and pedestrian lane, with six months left to go.

Sad news from Sacramento, where a 73-year old pedestrian who was struck by a man on a motorized bicycle has died.

A 24-year old Marin County woman has been charged with vehicular homicide, drunk driving, and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol for the October crash that killed an elementary school teacher as she was riding her bicycle.

National

Turns out Millennials are driving as much as other generations, after all. No surprise when you consider most of our cities are designed to force people to drive, for lack of any other safe, viable options.

A neighborhood greenway — aka bike boulevard — through a historically black Portland neighborhood has been moved over two blocks to appease residents who want to keep driving to local businesses.

Good question. Seattle Bike advocates are worried about the mayor’s retreat on bike lanes, while a local writer wants to know how killing the planned bike lane squares with the city’s climate goals. Probably the same way not building them in Los Angeles fits with ours.

Think of it as the ultimate open streets event. Starting tomorrow, Yellowstone National Park will be open to people on bicycles for the next three weeks; motor vehicles won’t be allowed in until April 19th. But if you want to see Old Faithful or Yellowstone Canyon during that period, you’re out of luck.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a bicycle from the yard of an Ohio couple, who had kept it there as a memorial to their late son for the last 15 years; the world-class cyclist and nuclear engineer was killed in a collision 25 years ago.

Talk about victim blaming. After the NYPD charged the driver of an oil tanker who killed a bicyclist with a pair of misdemeanors — even though he drove off after the crash, which is a felony — the company he works for said it was the victim’s fault for wearing dark clothes and riding after dark. Neither of which are against the law.

Speaking of the NYPD, their officers ignored the mayor’s orders and the department’s own policies to ticket delivery riders for using illegal ebikes, rather than the companies they worked for.

An Atlanta writer says yes, it’s possible to live carfree in the city and love it.

Now that’s more like it. A New Orleans man got ten years for the hit-and-run death of a man riding his bicycle. Meanwhile, the city’s police department has agreed to increase enforcement around bike lanes, including drivers who park in them.

After New Orleans bike advocates installed temporary protected bike lanes to connect segments of the city’s bike network, traffic speeds dropped 26%, while ridership nearly doubled. And 87% of local residents wanted to make them permanent.

International

Bike helmet materials maker Koroyd says not so fast on those Trek/Bontrager WaveCel helmets. And give us our color back.

Cycling Tips looks at the best pocket locks to briefly protect your bike when you park in public.

National Geographic visits the original ciclovia in Bogata, Columbia.

A Toronto physician says a proposed protected bike lane is the key to a safer, more prosperous city.

The European Union is taking serious steps to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, requiring a number changes to all cars, trucks and vans sold on the continent, including speed controls, emergency braking and black boxes. Too bad we can’t expect to see something like that over here anytime soon.

Scottish stunt rider Danny MacAskill now has his own YouTube channel.

Curbed’s Alissa Walker says Copenhagen will be the first city to eliminate fossil fuels, on track to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and carbon neutrality by 2025. And US cities need to do the same, fast.

It’s true. Like Dylan at Newport, famed Italian bikemaker Colnago has gone electric.

Aussie researchers call for banning the word cyclist so drivers will think we’re human.

Shocking story from Taiwan, where a man riding a bicycle and playing Pokemon Go discovered a baby abandoned by migrant workers. The shocking part isn’t the abandoned baby; it’s that anyone is still playing Pokemon Go.

Competitive Cycling

British pro Mark Cavendish is within reach of Eddy Merckx record 34 Tour de France stage wins, if he can overcome the effects of the Epstein Barr Virus.

Former Olympic and pro cyclist Jonathan Bellis was lucky to get off with a fine for attacking his girlfriend in a drunken rage; his lawyer said he suffered a brain injury in a moped crash that causes aggression when he drinks. Which begs the question of why he drinks when he knows he has a problem.

Finally…

Your next bike could be a unicorn. If you have to steal a bike, bring it back later with a note saying you’re sorry.

And if you’re going to cheat in a marathon by riding a bike, at least try to finish in under five hours.

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 .

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Local

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.

 

State

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.

 

National

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.

 

International

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.

 

Finally…

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.

 

Killer SF cyclist Chris Bucchere gets slap on wrist — should we be angry?

If you’ve read this blog for awhile, you know I can get almost apoplectic when a killer driver walks with a relative slap on the wrist.

So how should we respond when it’s a bike rider who gets the benefit of the court’s low valuation of a human life?

San Francisco cyclist Chris Bucchere faced a felony manslaughter charge for running into 71-year old pedestrian Sutchi Hui in a crosswalk while — allegedly — trying to beat his Strava time. Witnesses and security camera footage were unclear on whether he ran the red light, or entered on the yellow as Bucchere claimed.

Bucchere posted online shortly after the incident, defending his actions by saying the crosswalk filled before he could clear the intersection, and, unable to find a clear line, laid down his bike at the least populated area. At least some witnesses said he simply plowed through the crowded crosswalk, killing Hui.

Other witnesses reported that he had been riding recklessly prior to the collision, running at least three red lights prior to arriving at the deadly intersection.

Now the SF Gate reports that he’s accepted a plea deal that will avoid jail time, agreeing to perform 1,000 hours of community service.

Don’t get me wrong.

One thousand hours is a long time, and it gives him an opportunity to benefit society while serving as a warning to other riders.

But if a killer driver got off with just community service, we would be livid. At least, I would be.

Should we be any less so when the killer is one of us?

My first reaction was relief that Bucchere had been held accountable without suffering the heavy handed sentence that had been threatened. After all, he’s one of us, and it’s easy to imagine ourselves in that position.

Or not, on second though.

I never run red lights. As in, never.

I always ride within my capabilities; as thrilling as it can be to push beyond your limits, I’ve learned the hard way that the risks far outweigh the benefits.

And I never, ever ride recklessly around pedestrians. They have the right-of-way when crossing the street. And even when in the wrong, they are the only people on the roadway more vulnerable than we are.

They need, and deserve, our respect and consideration as much as we need that of the motorists we’re forced to share the road with.

So I find myself conflicted.

I’m angry that yet another killer has been let off the hook with a sentence that once again devalues the life of his victim and the consequences of his actions.

And relieved that one of us wasn’t held to a stricter accountability than similarly reckless drivers.

It’s just another slap on the wrist. And a sentence that is only fair in the uniformity of its unfairness.

Thanks to Al Williams for the heads-up.

You’re the next victim of the Critical Mass Takedown; mass bike assault in San Francisco

Not surprisingly, the first lawsuit over last week’s LAPD Critical Mass Takedown is about to be filed.

I received an email last night indicating that a press conference will be held Downtown this afternoon to announce the filing on behalf of Manny Gallegos. You may know him as the cyclist who recorded the now infamous YouTube video showing an officer apparently kicking a passing bike, only to be taken down himself by officers who seemed to understand the first amendment about as well s they did rights of cyclists.

Which is to say, not at all. Then again, that seems to be an ongoing problem for them.

And that makes it your problem, too.

Even though you’ve never assaulted a cyclist or denied a photographer his rights, you’re going to end up picking up the tab, once the financially strapped city eventually reaches a settlement with the victims.

A settlement that will come out of your taxes, just as it did when the police clashed with May Day protesters in MacArthur Park in 2007.

It’s not that the victims in these cases don’t deserve something. From what I’ve seen, the city might as well open its checkbook right now.

But we’d all be better off if the LAPD learned to avoid incidents like this in the first place. Because we’re all about to pay for their misguided actions.

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If you ever wondered if drivers were out to get you, the answer may be yes.

In a horrific attack on apparently random riders, four San Francisco cyclists were struck — apparently intentionally — by a hit-and-run driver in four separate assaults over a six minute period. The driver then fled the scene after crashing his car, leaving broken bikes and bodies strewn in his wake.

Fortunately, no one was killed. Yet the injuries ran the gamut, with three riders hospitalized — one in critical condition, one serious and one fair — with the fourth treated and released at the scene. Injuries included two broken legs and a head injury that left the victim floating in and out of consciousness; fortunately, all are expected to survive.

Police Lt. Lyn Tomioka said all the victims “do appear to be targeted. We don’t know if they were known victims, or if it’s because they were on bicycles or what the issue was.”

The SUV involved, a blue Nissan Rogue, was left at the scene of the final assault after colliding with two other vehicles, then hitting a pole. The car does not appear to be stolen, and as of Friday morning, the police were still looking for the suspect.

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LAist reminds readers that the 10th Annual River Ride takes place this Sunday, starting at Griffith Park. The LACBC meets with representatives of several regional bike groups. If you’re going to look cool pooping your pants, you definitely need a bike in the background. A look at some of the less tangible benefits of biking. A San Francisco cyclist says church goers who park in the bike lane are worshipping the wrong God. A report from yet another Tweed ride. It only takes one jerk to ruin a ride. Now you can charge your Nokia cell phone while you ride. The misguided bill requiring Florida cyclists to stay in the damn bike lane now awaits the governor’s signature; does he sign it and piss off cyclists, or veto it and risk his chances in the upcoming Senatorial race? DC area park police urge drivers to share the road, which might not be necessary if they weren’t blocking the bike lane. A road-raging senior citizen cyclist smashes a car that infringed on the crosswalk. Greg “Everyone Dopes But Me” LeMond says he feels vindicated by Floyd Landis’ unsubstantiated charges. Bike lawyer Bob Mionske offers his take on the inexplicable dropping of charges against Toronto cyclist killer Michael Bryant. Cyclists get no respect in British Columbia. Pro cyclist Fabian Cancellara laughs off charges that he cheated with an electric boost; Copenhagenize says real bikes don’t have motors. A UK motorist apologizes for carelessly killing a bike riding father, which evidently makes it okay as the driver walks away with a suspended sentence and community service. After a London cyclist is hit by a taxi, he’s strangled to unconsciousness with his own scarf by the angry driver; he goes on trial next week — the cyclist that is, not the driver.

Finally, France’s new Street Code offers common-sense solutions to sharing the road in the truest sense. If anyone at LADOT or the Department of Planning is listening, there’s your new blueprint to really revitalize Downtown.

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