Tag Archive for Stupid Driver Tricks

Morning Links: Possible LA bike registry, who we share the roads with, and a powerful call for traffic safety

The Los Angeles city council voted to reinvent the wheel on Friday.

Despite several free, nationwide bike registry programs — including Bike Index, which this site links to — the council voted to explore creating its own registry program.

Never mind that the cost of administering such a program would likely exceed the amount it would bring in.

Or that the city council cancelled LA’s existing bike registry nearly ten years ago after it was almost universally ignored, and nearly impossible to use.

And that police officers too often used it as an excuse to pull over and search bike riders of color.

Then there’s the problem that all thieves had to do to escape discovery was take stolen bikes to one of the 87 other communities in LA County, where the LA bike registry wasn’t used.

What’s really needed is voluntary, countywide — if not statewide — registry.

Until that happens, Los Angeles is a lot better off partnering with one of the existing free bike registries.

And promoting the hell out of it.

Full disclosure: Neither this site, or I personally, receive any compensation for hosting the Bike Index bike registration program here. I just effing hate bike thieves, and want every stolen bike to find its way back home.

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This is who we share the roads with.

A road raging Denver driver fatally shot a 13 year old boy, and injured three other members of the boy’s family after following them to a parking lot and briefly arguing with the boy’s mother. Then told police he has mental health issues after admitting to the shooting.

So why was he allowed to own a gun — let alone drive a car?

Meanwhile, a Toronto bicyclist was tailgated through a narrow alley by a driver who kept honking his horn, and yelling “Looks like another dead cyclist.”

And commenters fall over themselves congratulating an Indiana state trooper after he tweets about ticketing a driver for not speeding in the left lane. Thanks to Chris Klibowitz for the heads-up.

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Powerful piece from a Toronto columnist, who says we know how to make roads safer, we just have to do it.

He writes that New York eliminated fatalities on Queens Blvd, aka the notorious Boulevard of Death, where 186 people were killed between 1990 and 2014.

How did they do it? As summarized by the Times, they narrowed and removed some car traffic lanes, and decreased speed limits by five miles per hour. They increased the amount of time given to pedestrians to cross the street and increased the number of pedestrian crossings. They redesigned sidewalks at intersections to narrow the crossing in some places. They introduced bike lanes and larger medians protected by barriers to the road. They added cameras with photo radar near schools.

If you want to make roads safer, you can. How to do it is not a mystery. Slow traffic down through laws, enforcement and — especially, crucially — design improvements. Put infrastructure on the street to protect cyclists and pedestrians. Pay close attention to intersection design. Voila.

He goes on to add that Stockholm, Sweden, the birthplace of Vision Zero, has a fatality rate just one third of New York or Toronto.

Stockholm didn’t cut its fatality rate dramatically by educating people and more strictly enforcing laws. The Swedes did it by slowing urban traffic and by re-engineering their roads to reduce serious injuries and fatalities. “Most of the people in the safety community had invested in the idea that safety work is about changing human behaviour,” Matts-Ake Belin, one of the architects of the program, told CityLab in 2014. “Vision Zero says instead that people make mistakes … let’s create a system for the humans instead of trying to adjust the humans to the system.”

Lower speeds, better protections, designs that discourage collisions and encourage safety.

We know what works. We can see its success even on the so-called Boulevard of Death. The obstacle to ending our own killing streets is not knowledge. It’s caring enough to bother applying it.The

Maybe some day, Los Angeles will care enough, too.

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Organizers of a British triathlon threaten to permanently ban racers who were responsible of undertaking a woman riding a horse on a trail, crashing into the side of the horse in their rush to pass unsafely.

And yes, both the horse and its rider were wearing hi-viz.

Seriously, it takes a special kind of schmuck to pull something like this on a public right-of-way, race or not.

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Local

Metro is teaming with the Mid City West Neighborhood Council to offer a free class on how to ride safely on city streets; participants will also receive a free helmet and bike lights.

The executive director of Los Angeles Walks calls for dedicating one or two parking spaces per block for shared bikes and scooters, rather than parking them on sidewalks.

Yo! Venice reports bike theft is on the rise in the seaside community, which is already one of the city’s hotspots for bike theft. And recommends registering your bike to help get it back if it’s stolen.

 

State

A Fresno bike shop’s troubled spring took a turn for the worse when one of their customers collapsed and died on one of the store’s group rides; a fundraising page has raised over $1,700 of the $2,500 goal for his family.

A San Francisco bike rider is suing the city and county, as well as a construction company, after she broke her wrist falling on debris in a construction zone.

Caltrans will widen shoulders and install bike turnouts along Highway 1 in Marin County to improve bike safety, as well as installing “mumble” strips along the center line, which are quieter than rumble strips.

 

National

GeekWire tries out one of Uber’s Jump dockless bikeshare ebikes as they begin moving into Seattle. The bikes are already available in the Bay Area, but haven’t begun a southward migration yet.

A retired Kentucky journalist discovers that he lives just off a US bike route, and stumbles onto a cross-country Bike MS ride.

Milwaukee bike advocates have declared 100 Days of Biking to celebrate the trails, rides, events and people that make the region special.

The son of the founder of Crain’s Detroit creates a lot of pro-bike blowback after his myopic, windshield-biased screed complaining that city planners are “discriminating against cars in favor of two-wheeled transport.”

An eight-year old New York program extends the joy of bicycling to people with visual or physical disabilities by pairing them with a partner on a tandem bike.

Despite needing a number of improvements, bicycle traffic often exceeds motor vehicle traffic during rush hour on New York’s Chrystie Street, where a protected bike lane was installed two years ago.

 

International

A stuntman offers advice on how to crash your bike while keeping your body and dignity mostly intact. I offer my own hard-earned lessons on how to crash on the Survival Tactics page above.

A Vancouver TV station says ebikes are revolutionizing people’s commutes.

While Vancouver residents prepared to celebrate a pair of Car Free Day open streets events, a local TV station can only see through the prism of their own windshield bias, warning of a traffic hell for motorists.

Saying “this is why we can’t have nice things,” organizers threaten to pull the plug on a popular Windsor, Ontario bike ride because of the behavior of a handful of riders.

The Montreal Gazette examines how to coax commuters out of their cars and onto bikes.

Toronto condo owners are being warned not to trust locked bike rooms in their buildings, which are being targeted by thieves. Which is fair warning for bike riders anywhere — don’t trust bike rooms or garages without extra security of your own.

A 13-year old boy was arrested in the death of a Toronto bike rider who was intentionally run down, then kicked, beaten and stabbed by the occupants of the car.

A UK bike rider says the country’s mental health services have failed him, as he’s suffered from PTSD after finding the body of a suicide victim while biking to work two years ago.

A British reporter discovers first hand the abuse and harassment women on bikes experience on a daily basis.

A researcher calls for a mandatory helmet law in Norway, after a meta-analysis shows helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by 60%. Even though the experience in other countries shows that helmet laws reduce the injury rate by reducing the number of people riding.

A riot broke out at an Eritrean cycling festival after opponents of the country’s president barged in throwing bottles, food and beer kegs; nine people were injured, including children.

Another ride to add to your bike bucket list — experiencing the unique biology of Madagascar by bike. And as long as you have your bucket list out, here’s eight more epic cycling tours around the world.

In a major turnaround, two-thirds of Aukland, New Zealand residents now believe bike lanes are good for the city and would welcome them in their own communities. This should be a lesson for Los Angeles; the opposition to bike lanes disappeared as more were built and people began using them.

An Aussie columnist says it’s time to end the bad blood between drivers and people on two wheels. Funny how it’s only the ones who ride bikes who call for a truce on the streets; it’s almost as if most drivers don’t even know there’s a problem.

Caught on video: A Perth, Australia bicyclist was lucky to escape with a case of ‘roo road rash after becoming the latest victim of a jay-jumping kangaroo.

A Japanese newspaper says the best way to explore Okinawa is on two wheels.

Seoul, Korea was expecting 5,000 bicyclists for a 13-mile annual bike parade on Saturday.

 

Competitive Cycling

A Scottish cyclist broke the 97-year old hour British hour record — on a Penny Farthing.

 

Finally…

Now your bike can have its own little house, just like the dog. If you’re going to ride on the freeway, at least take the lane.

And I’d be pretty pissed if bike riders whizzed near me, too.

Morning Links: Parking on Lake Balboa bike path, safety PSAs & stupid driver tricks, and Bourdain was one of us

Before we start, be sure to read our rare Saturday post if you missed it over the weekend.

Now hold on, because we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

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Let’s start with this email I received from danger d.

This Sunday June 10,2018 I was riding through the Balboa Lake Park Recreation area and came across no less than 18 cars parked right in the center of the Class 1 Shared pathway (r.e. Bike Path). I stopped and spoke with one person in their vehicle just parking on the path and explained that they were on a bike path and pointed out how they had just almost doored me but the lady said she saw no path, pointed to the center yellow line and said “I’m just parking behind the other cars!”

At this point I saw a fire department crew across the street and asked them to call parking enforcement, it was 2:36pm. I then called parking enforcement myself and talked to someone who identified themselves as operator 501 and told me someone else had called (the firemen) and that it would be taken care of. So here are the photos at 5:30 pm, 3 hours later, not one citation, no towing, NOTHING!

Obviously the weak plastic pylons which are mostly already run over are of NO use at all as a deterrent and I believe that it is high time that the city put a red curb, or K walls or at the very least some NO PARKING signs up at this location to stop this once and for all as it happens EVERY WEEKEND and as many times as I have called there has been ABSOLUTELY NO ENFORCEMENT AT ALL.

I am not even going to get into the 10 or so cars that I saw WELL into the grassy areas of the park near picnic benches, parked by people who think it’s OK to just drive across the bike path into the grass and park wherever they want! I guess they are correct because our city does NOTHING about this AT ALL.

When will something be done? Where is Vision Zero? City councilmember? Mayor?

 

This is ridiculous.

Dangerous, too, since it forces riders out into the street where drivers aren’t expecting them.

The law is pretty clear on the subject. CVC 21211 explicitly states that no one is allowed to block a bike path, except under very limited circumstances.

And parking the family car isn’t one of them.

21211.  

(a) No person may stop, stand, sit, or loiter upon any class I bikeway, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 890.4 of the Streets and Highways Code, or any other public or private bicycle path or trail, if the stopping, standing, sitting, or loitering impedes or blocks the normal and reasonable movement of any bicyclist.

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On the other hand, they get it.

Ireland’s County Mayo celebrates Bike Week by telling people not to park or drive in bike lanes.

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Illinois introduces a new public safety announcement, saying we all have to pay attention, especially at intersections, because traffic safety is literally a matter of life and death.

But fails to consider that only it’s only the people in the big, dangerous machines pose a significant risk to others.

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Great video from New Orleans advocacy group Bike Easy, in so many ways.

In just over two minutes, they manage to personalize bicyclists, while showing them as part of the fabric of city.

And making it clear you don’t have own spandex or a fancy new bike — and can carry a trombone while you ride.

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Anthony Bourdain was one of us, riding a tandem in France just the day before taking his own life.

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A popular Instagram account draws over half a million likes for comparing bicyclists to annoying creatures.

Never mind that like ’em or not, all of the above are vital to the environment.

Thanks to BerKelly for the heads-up.

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This is who we share the roads with.

Thanks to Censorthis for the link.

Then there’s the New York garbage truck driver who refused a breathalyzer test after plowing into nine — count ’em, nine — parked cars. Not surprisingly, he was booked for DUI.

And a Boston hit-and-run driver makes it clear that killing an 80-year old man and driving away afterwards is just no big thing. And it’s not his fault he was speeding, or chose to hit the horn instead of the brakes — let alone aimed at a human being instead of a pole.

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Nothing like a little role reversal, with the one on the bike giving the tickets for a change.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the tip.

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Let’s spend a few moments on the Lime beat.

The company has established a beachhead in Santa Monica, going head-to-head with locally owned Bird. The new Lime-S e-scooters, developed in conjunction with Segway, will cost $1 to unlock and 15 cents per minute of riding time; you can get a $3 credit towards your first ride with the code LIMEWITHLA1.

Meanwhile, a writer for the Guardian questions what the owners of LimeBike were thinking when they programed their scooters to threaten to call the police if they’re not unlocked. Especially in neighborhoods with people of color, who may be just a tad sensitive to that.

Santa Barbara wasted no time running Lime out of town, after the company placed 100 scooters on the sidewalks in the morning, and the city impounded them in the afternoon.

And nice move from Lime, who have partnered with PayNearMe to make their bikeshare bikes available to people without bank accounts or smartphones, providing 100 pedal bike rides for just $5. No word on whether it will work with their scooters, as well.

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It was World Naked Bike Ride weekend around the world, as people stripped down to demand safer streets in —

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Local

A new UCLA video explains why transit use is declining, and what to do about it. Besides putting bigger bike racks on buses.

CiclaValley re-escapes to the Old Ridge Route.

Curbed asks if preparations for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics could permanently solve LA’s traffic problems, like the ’84 Olympics did for two brief, shining weeks.

Speaking of Curbed LA, they’re looking for a freelance transportation writer.

 

State

A half-mile extension of a Napa bike path could lead riders past a winery to the Napa River, near a historic ferry landing.

 

National

Strong Towns addresses the perennial debate over parking spaces versus bike lanes, showing proof bike lanes benefit businesses, even if that means the loss of parking.

Consumer Reports considers what they’ve learned from crashes involving self-driving cars, concluding that drivers can’t rely on their cars to do all the driving, and they still have trouble recognizing humans.

A few more rides to add to your bike bucket list, as Geotab maps out America’s quietest bike routes for when you need a little sanity break from city life.

Who says bike riders aren’t tough? A Denver women is going forward with plans for a 400-mile charity ride from Mount Kilimanjaro across Tanzania to the ocean — despite being the victim of a hit-and-run on Thursday.

A Michigan town fell about 350 bikes short in their attempt to set a new world record for the longest line of moving bicycles.

Columbus OH may have slipped past Indianapolis in size, but still lags behind in bike infrastructure. Then again, so does Los Angeles.

As we’ve noted before, NBC weatherman Al Roker is one of us. Or at least he used to be, since someone stole his bike outside a New York radio station.

New York’s Daily News gets it, saying the state must renew the law allowing speed cameras, double their number and increase the penalties for repeat violators. Meanwhile, speed cameras are illegal in California, and no one is doing anything about it.

 

International

A Canadian man is riding across the country to raise funds for mental health after being diagnosed with depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder last year.

Yet another dockless bikeshare company has invaded North America, as China’s U-bicycle has come to Western Canada and the University of Victoria.

Great idea. A Winnipeg festival brings together bike riders and wheelchair users for a tour of the city.

A 17-year old Toronto man faces first degree murder charges, and two others are being sought by police, for intentionally running down a bike rider, then getting out to punch and kick him before stabbing him to death.

Nice piece from the Guardian, as a bike rider says the kindness he was shown after a fall on a bike path restored his faith in ordinary people.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. Someone has been leaving tacks on a UK bike path, flattening the tires of several riders, including children.

They get it, too. The Zambia Road Safety Trust says the country needs to put people first, not cars, in the country’s transport systems.

A New Zealand cyclist says there’s no need to improve streets for bike riders, because the city has lots of parks, and he doesn’t see many bike riders on the roads now. Which may be because there aren’t any bikeways yet.

Malaysian bicyclists appeal to the country’s transport minister to provide bike lanes, signage and bike traffic signals to improve safety.

Getty Images offers pretty bikescapes created by the massive oversupply of dockless bikeshare bikes in China.

 

Competitive Cycling

Our old friend CLR Effect recaps the recent Wolfpack Hustle Forsyth Cup at the Encino Velodrome, sponsored by BikinginLA sponsor Thomas Forsyth.

The BBC talks with pro cyclist Molly Weaver about the crash that led to her depression and a quest for perfection, before her recent decision to withdraw from the sport.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride on the left side of a busy freeway, at least take the lane. “Oh, nothing, just a pole through the groin. How was your day?”

And weird and wonderful derailleurs through history.

 

Morning Links: South Bay bike advocate Julian Katz died, an LA Rapha ride, and who we share the roads with

We have a lot of news to catch up on after missing yesterday’s Morning Links.

We’ll get to as much as we can today, and the rest Monday to make sure you don’t miss anything.

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Sad news from the South Bay, where the Easy Reader News reports longtime bike advocate Julian Katz has died of prostate cancer at age 88.

According to the paper,

Katz was a longtime board member of the South Bay Bicycle Coalition and a former Hermosa Beach Public Works commissioner. Fellow coalition board member Jim Hannon recalled Katz as a dedicated public servant who zealously pursued his goals while maintaining a low profile and kindly demeanor. As a member of the coalition, Katz helped ensure passage of the Beach Cities Bicycle Master Plan. Hannon pointed to the installation of sharrows on Hermosa Avenue as a cause Katz pushed for that created immediate benefits.Nice

A memorial ride in Katz honor will leave from the Manhattan Beach Pier at 10 am tomorrow.

You can make a tax deductible donation in Katz honor to support bicycle safety for students at 186th Street Elementary through the South Bay Bicycle Coalition.

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Nice LA-based ad from Rapha says riding is the answer.

Or as Adweek puts it, life is less crappy when you get off your phone and on a bike.

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This is who we share the roads with.

A road raging Sacramento driver did what nearly every bicyclist has wanted do at one time or another, but had the sense not to.

He repeatedly rammed a parked car with his SUV, before getting out and jumping on the roof until police came to take him away.

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Local

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti has pledged a carbon-neutral Los Angeles by 2050. Which won’t be possible without a major increase in bicycling and walking, as well as dramatically increased density. But it sounds nice, anyway.

You may still have time to make it to the East Side Riders Annual Appreciation Picnic at Athens Park this morning.

A new bicycling themed coffee shop called Super Domestic has opened across from Sony Studios in Culver City.

Santa Monica proposes a cap of 1,500 e-scooters in the city, eventually rising to 2,250; operators would have to pay a $20,000 annual fee, as well as $130 per scooter.

 

State

Six bicyclists on the AIDS/LifeCycle Ride were treated for eye irritation after they were gassed with tear gas that drifted across the road from the federal prison in Lompoc.

Santa Maria has rejected claims filed on behalf of a woman’s husband and her three kids after she was killed by a city bus while riding in a bike lane.

 

National

A fundraiser is being held for a Reno mountain biker who was injured after crashing into a pair of LimeBikes that had been improperly parked in a bike lane.

Bicycling lists nine “totally awesome” charity rides around the US.

GQ tells you everything you need to know before buying a bike for fitness. Best advice: Give your favorite wrench a beer or two.

Men’s Journal reviews the best bike locks.

Good question. Treehugger wants to know why ebikes don’t get the same kind of government support electric cars do.

Salt Lake City has a new bicycle-themed bar for people who like bikes. Or appreciate long, twisty mustaches.

Colorado National Monument puts up signs warning drivers about bikes on the road, as part of a test to see if they’ll actually slow down. The drivers, not the bikes. Or the signs.

They get it. Business owners in Butte MT are pushing for more business from bicyclists.

Wisconsin-based Trek has settled a lawsuit with the family of Chris Farley after the bikemaker named its new fat bike “Farley.”

LA bike riders get Clif Bars for Bike to Work Day; Wisconsin riders get Bacon on the Bike Path.

Chicago police are using bicycle traffic stops to make gun and drug arrests in communities of color. Which is just one reason why City Lab asks if it’s time to reconsider traffic stops.

A memorial has been unveiled for the five victims of the Kalamzoo massacre.

A Dayton, Ohio man was killed when he rode his bike into oncoming traffic while fleeing from police, because he didn’t want to be jailed and miss the birth of his first child. Now he definitely will.

A Maine bike rider spent seven months tracking down the nurse who saved his life after he severed his jugular crashing into a parked car while riding with his head down.

Boston decides to make its bus and bike lane pilot project permanent.

A Queens community council votes to block plans for a protected bike lane where a rider was killed last year.

Unbelievable. An Atlanta bike rider struck by a truck whose driver had been shot in the head, after a man fired warning shots during an argument a block away; fortunately, both victims survived, though the driver is in critical condition.

 

International

Road.cc looks at the best mudguards to keep your backside dry.

Heartbreaking story of an Ontario bike rider on a charity ride who stopped to help a rider who’d fallen after blowing a tire, then was killed when a driver plowed into him and three other people on the side of the road.

Eight Quebec cities to add to your bicycle bucket list.

A writer for the Guardian says the London mayor’s time in office will be a failure if he can’t overcome a vote blocking a proposal to turn the city’s busy Oxford Street into a pedestrian mall.

A London bike rider lets his air horn do the talking when people walk in the bike lane. Seriously, don’t do that.

Sad news from Wales, where a mountain biker was killed crashing into a tree on a trail he designed himself.

The war cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. A Welsh rider was knocked unconscious after someone tied a string at neck height across a bike trail. And no, it’s not a sick prank; it’s a terrorist attack intended to injure or kill innocent people.

Caught on video: A British driver appears to deliberately swerve into a teenage bike bicyclist who was riding on the wrong side of the road, then threatens the woman who took the video.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 20-year old driver gets off with community service for killing a bicyclist, despite driving on the wrong side of the road with a clear view of the victim for at least 45 seconds prior to the crash.

A Dutch city will get the world’s first bike path paved entirely with recycled plastic.

A new bill under consideration in Australia would compensate bike riders for injuries suffered in a dooring or a collision with a vehicle, whether moving or parked. Better yet, it’s retroactive to 2014.

Thai bicyclists could be fined the equivalent of $15 for riding under the influence. But only if they’re caught on a main road; evidently, riding drunk on secondary road is fine.

 

Competitive Cycling

Awareness of the dangers of concussions is spreading through the pro peloton, but Rouleur argues the testing protocol needs to be made mandatory.

Britain’s most successful women’s mountain biker says her brothers were the ones who convinced her the sport was for girls.

Fallbrook pro cyclist Roger Ainslie has been banned for three and a half years after failing a drug test at the US Track National Championships. But sure, the doping era is over, right?

The Department of Defense — yes, that Department of Defense — writes about the bicycling competition at the recent DoD Warrior Games at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs CO.

Nice profile of Lance Armstrong, post legal settlement with the federal government. If anyone still cares.

 

Finally…

So maybe a no riding zone isn’t the best place for a bikeshare dock. When the new safety signs aren’t.

And when you’re invited to a garden party at Kensington Palace, by all means, ride your bike.

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Thanks to Mike W for his generous donation to help support this site

 

Morning Links: LA County settles Milt Olin case for $11.75 million, and sheriff’s deputies get it wrong on PCH. Again.

Five and a half years after music executive Milt Olin was killed by a distracted LA County sheriff’s deputy, his family has finally received some justice.

About $11.75 million worth.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, the Olin family will receive that amount in a settlement from the county.

Which is just slightly more than the $80,000 requested in their original lawsuit.

But possibly less than a jury would have given them if the case had gone to trial.

Olin was riding in a bike lane on Mulholland Highway in Calabasas when the deputy ran him down from behind while responding to a message from another officer on his onboard computer.

That came just moments after the deputy had been texting with his wife while driving. Which, remarkably, is legal for emergency personnel in California, even if the text has nothing to do with official business.

The LA County District Attorney refused to file charges in the case, or to hold the sheriff’s department accountable in any way for a policy that allowed deputies to use the onboard computer while driving, with predictable results.

That policy was changed as a result of Olin’s death.

Which, in the long run, may be worth much more than his family will receive in this case.

Photo from the Milt Olin Foundation website.

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It’s a never-ending story.

Every few years, Malibu sheriff’s deputies insist on harassing and ticketing bicyclists who are doing absolutely nothing wrong, based on a flawed interpretation of California law.

And after various bicyclists, bike advocates and organizations explain the law to them, they back off. Until the deputies are transferred out, and new ones come in to take their place.

Then the cycle starts all over again.

Like it did this past weekend, when members of the Major Motion Cycling Club were harassed by a sheriff’s deputy, who used his loud speaker to insist that they ride single file in a non-existent bike lane.

So let’s go through this one more time.

CVC 21202 allows bicyclists to ride in the roadway, using the full lane when necessary.

Bike riders can, at their own discretion, ride on the shoulder of a roadway. However, nothing to the right of the limit line is legally considered part of the road, and bicyclists can’t be required to ride there.

And just because there’s a stripe on the side of the road, that doesn’t make it a bike lane.

It’s true that CVC 21202 requires anyone using a bicycle to ride as far to the right as practicable — not as far as possible, as it’s frequently misinterpreted.

However, it contains a number of exceptions when the ride-to-the-right rule does not apply, including in a substandard traffic lane. That means any lane that is too narrow to safely share with a bicycle and a motor vehicle, while allowing for a three-foot passing distance.

Like the lane shown in the video, which is clearly too narrow for a bike and a car to safely travel side-by-side. And like most of the other right hand traffic lanes in the LA area.

There is also absolutely nothing in California law requiring bicyclists to ride single file.

The CHP and LASD have often attempted to misapply the ride-to-the-right rule in CVC 21202 to say that anyone riding abreast is not riding as far to the right as practicable. However, as we noted, that requirement does not apply on a substandard lane.

It is actually safer to ride abreast under those conditions, because it increases the visibility of the riders and allows them to control the full lane, forcing drivers to change lanes to go around them.

And it makes the riders easier to pass by bunching closer together in a small group, rather than stretching out in a long line.

Finally, it’s impossible to obstruct traffic on a roadway with two or more lanes in each direction, where drivers can simply change lanes to go around.

But don’t take my word for it.

Below is the video the LAPD prepared to train its own officers in bike law and the rights of bicyclists.

Which should be required viewing at the Malibu/Los Hills sheriff station.

Thanks to Martin Blount for the video.

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This is who we share the roads with.

An aggressive, road raging California driver flips off a bike rider and makes a punishment pass for no apparent reason.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

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Local

Los Angeles police solved just 8% of hit-and-runs in the city last year. Which means 92% of hit-and-run drivers committed a crime and got away with it. But sure, let’s keep pretending it’s not a crisis.

The SGV Connect podcast discusses how to support people who bike at the University of La Verne.

Registration is open for this summer’s Tour de Laemmle, the annual 135-mile ride along with Laemmle Theaters president Greg Laemmle as he visits all of the theater chain’s nine LA area venues.

 

State

No surprise here. San Diego drivers are taking advantage of a new bike lane in Mission Valley for prime parking space, forcing riders out into high speed traffic; police are ticketing the cars even though No Parking signs haven’t been installed yet.

A San Francisco woman asks if bike riders are really welcome in Paso Robles after a road raging driver threatens to run her and her husband down unless they ride single file. Which they were.

A San Francisco supervisor follows through on threats to remove a bike lane to make room for more free parking.

Don’t ride your e-scooter on the San Francisco Bay Bridge. Or any other freeway.

 

National

Distracted driving gets the blame for a 13.5% jump in traffic fatalities in the US; the United States was one of just five nations to see an increase in traffic deaths over a five year period.

Streetsblog says fire departments are now embracing safer street designs, rather than fighting much needed safety improvements.

An Oregon letter writer says bicyclists should be held to the same standard as drivers. So feel free to roll stop signs, ride through intersections after the light has changed, never signal, and ride ten miles over the speed limit while texting, just like the people in cars do.

A retired Los Angeles man says he’s given up on bicycling in the city, driven off the streets by road raging drivers, and moving to Tucson to take advantage of the city’s 131-mile off-road bike and pedestrian loop. Someone should send that to every member of the city council so they can see what we have to deal with on a daily basis.

A group of Ukrainian cyclists is passing through New Mexico on a ride across the US to promote adoptions.

Iowa bicyclists call for a law requiring drivers to change lanes to pass people on bicycles, and increased penalties for driving distracted.

A Chicago bike rider somehow assumes that bad bicyclist behavior is responsible for a dramatic increase in bicycling fatalities, and calls on his fellow citizens to yell at the miscreant riders.

Doctors in New York were able to save the leg of a nationally ranked junior cyclist after he developed an aggressive form of bone cancer, saving his dreams of competing in the Olympics.

A marathon runner is suing New York for $2 million after he broke his arm in a collision with a bike rider on the George Washington Bridge, claiming there’s not enough room for people on bikes and on foot on the bridge.

A Pennsylvania newspaper reminds drivers about the state’s four-foot passing law, and says there’s no excuse for disobeying a perfectly sound law.

The Voice of America looks at DC’s monthly Bike Party.

Apparently having solved the problem of distracted driving, Miami considers a campaign to reduce distracted bicycling, skateboard and moped riding. No, really.

 

International

Horrifying story from Ontario, Canada, where a man is fighting for his life, and a woman seriously injured, after a driver slammed head-on into four bicyclists on a charity ride; the driver was attempting to pass a slower vehicle, and reportedly never braked before hitting the riders.

A Canadian city is taking bikeshare to the next level by offering a free bike lending program, allowing users to check a bike out for a day.

In a bizarre comment, the head of London’s department of transportation apologized to drivers for the city’s hugely successful cycle superhighways, saying they were poorly thought out and rushed through under the previous mayor. Although he may have been talking about the construction delays, not the bikeways themselves.

London’s Independent recommends six of the coolest cycling destinations around the world to add to your bike bucket list.

When is a bike lane not a bike lane? When it can convert to other uses at different times of day, thanks to a new concept from a London design engineering firm.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes continues. Someone reportedly sabotaged a UK mountain bike trail by stringing wire across it, as well as placing logs and other obstructions on the trail.

Bike advocates in Malta complain about a limited and disconnected bike lane that doesn’t meet European standards. Proving once again that bicyclists face the same problems all over the world.

Over 82,000 people in Australia have signed a petition to require bicyclists to ride single file when in a group, and ban bikes from roads with speed limits over 50 mph.

 

Competitive Cycling

A member of the US Paralympic Cycling Team credits riding with lifting him out of a decade-long depression that began when he suffered a stroke as a teenager.

Britain announces a new campaign to stop doping and ensure public faith in cycling. Maybe they could start by taking a closer look at Team Sky. I’m just saying.

Five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault doesn’t hold back, saying Team Sky star and Giro champ Chris Froome doesn’t belong with the legends of cycling, and shouldn’t be allowed to compete until his doping case is resolved.

 

Finally…

It’s now legal to bike through the drive-through for a Portland burger. Putting school parking — and senior pranks — to better bikeshare use; thanks to Campoy for the link.

And we’re not in danger of being replaced until these little guys learn to hold their line.

Morning Links: Pico-Union hit-and-run, butt darts game threatens OC bicyclists, and dodging traffic — literally

The LAPD is looking for the heartless hit-and-run coward — my words, not theirs — who fled the scene after running down a bike rider in Pico-Union neighborhood last Tuesday.

The department reports the victim was riding west on Venice Blvd at Magnolia Ave when he was sideswiped by a passing driver and knocked into a parked car, suffering severe head injuries.

The driver kept going without stopping, or apparently even slowing down.

The suspect vehicle is described only as a tan-colored minivan; no description on the driver.

The city offers an automatic reward ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 for any hit-and-run resulting in serious injuries depending on whether the injuries are permanent. Or $50,000 for a fatal hit-and-run.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD West Traffic Division Officer Juan Velasco at 213/473-0234. Anonymous tips can be given by calling LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800/222-TIPS (800/222-8477) or at lacrimestoppers.org

………

The OC Register examines the asinine butt dart stunts in Orange County, in which moronic assholes in cars swerve at people on bicycles, point their fingers like guns, and yell “butt dart!”

The paper reports a law firm is considering filing a lawsuit against Chad Towersey, the Orange County Instagram star who started the dangerous fad.

“What we want is for (Towersey) to denounce this,” said Gven Sariol, a cycling safety advocate at the Sariol Legal firm in Santa Ana….

Towersey said he’s actually performing the stunt, and recording it, as a way to promote safe bicycling: “Please ride safe and obey the rules of the road — That is all we ask,” he wrote in a caption for an Instagram post.

Of course. Harassing, intimidating and assaulting people on bicycles — let alone scaring the crap out of them — is being done in the name of bike safety.

Bullshit.

All we have here is yet another jackass looking for more online hits at the expense of innocent people.

Never mind that startling or frightening people on bicycles can have disastrous consequences, as the riders can overreact and swerve into traffic, or off the roadway or into parked cars. Or lose control and fall off their bikes and into the path of oncoming traffic.

And what happens in the seemingly inevitable instance when one of these so-called pranksters pulls the stunt on bike rider who happens to be armed — and yes, there are people who carry weapons when they ride.

Would the same law enforcement officials who wrongly insist that harassing bicyclists isn’t a crime be willing to turn the same blind eye to someone who reacted in self-defense when they thought they were being attacked?

This crap will stop when authorities actually care enough to find a way to prosecute these jerks.

Hopefully before someone gets killed.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

Speaking of jerks — or any of the other epithets from the previous section — consider the driver who nearly made CiclaValley Eclipse Day roadkill.

………

The first Indian woman to qualify for Paris-Brest-Paris says foreigners will soon be drawn to the country’s ultra-distance cycling events.

CNN looks at the Vuelta’s decision to combine male and female podium hosts, rather than just eliminating podium girls. Note to CNN: When your headline refers to “podium girls — and men,” you’re still getting it wrong.

Outside offers advice on how to prepare for your first bike race.

A Santa Rosa woman won the prestigious Leadville 100 mountain bike race after she was given a late push by a piece of pizza.

……….

Local

LA Magazine offers a good look at the city’s Vision Zero program, which should be required reading for anyone opposed to road diets or other traffic safety programs.

Great piece from Curbed’s Alissa Walker, who says residents of Jefferson Blvd are fed up with dangerous drivers, so they’re embracing road diets and implementing traffic safety improvements themselves, armed with a $6.3 million grant from Caltrans.

A Good Samaritan chased down the hit-and-run driver who fled after striking a woman as she was directing traffic on Los Feliz Blvd Saturday night.

Former LADOT artist-in-residence Alan Nakagawa will lead a bike tour of his Street Haiku project, including the scent of Hollywood in Springtime, from Mariachi Plaza on September 10th. Having smelled the actual Hollywood in springtime, it’s not a scent I would recommend.

Skid Row’s Union Rescue Mission has seen a 23% drop in charitable giving last year, despite a 23% increase in homelessness in LA County; it had faced a $5 million deficit last year until the head of the rescue mission rode his bike to Sacramento with his wife to raise funds.

 

State

The Guardian examines how bikeshare became a symbol of gentrification in San Francisco, seen as something for affluent white professionals, not locals.

Sad news from Stockton, where a 19-year old bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run Sunday night.

The Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association has spent the summer shoring up area trails and going after grants for more involved projects.

 

National

A writer for Strong Towns says narrow roads are better than crosswalks, and that road diets are “a far cheaper and more effective way to allow for safe pedestrian crossing.”

The Seattle Times says yes, drivers get ticketed for parking in bike lanes, even if it doesn’t seem like it.

An alternative weekly in Seattle says the consequences of the city’s mandatory bike helmet law falls disproportionately on black youths on the city’s south side, who have taken to using the new dockless bikeshare systems without them.

A Florida driver faces life in prison for killing a bike rider, after driving two miles with the man stuck in the rear window of his car, then dumping him still alive next to a dumpster.

 

International

Clean Technica says bicycles and autonomous vehicles are on a collision course, suggesting that getting the cars to recognize and respond to bicyclists is an unsolvable problem. Of course, every problem is unsolvable until someone does it; creating working car radios was considered unsolvable 90 years ago.

A London teenager suffered life-changing injuries in a horrific attack when he was sprayed in the face with acid by moped-riding thieves who stole his bicycle.

London’s Evening Standard offers the best bike shoes for autumn, apparently in case you don’t want to wear white on your bike after Labor Day.

Johnny Depp’s daughter Lily Rose is one of us, as the 18-year old model works on her bicycling skills in France with her mom, Vanessa Paradis.

A Singaporean appeals court affirmed the record $8.65 million awarded to a then-pregnant woman who was hit by falling cables at a construction site while riding past on her bicycle; even though she wasn’t badly injured, she developed what one of her doctors called one of the worst cases of PTSD he’d ever seen.

 

Finally…

When they say “Don’t try this at home,” this is exactly the sort of thing they’re talking about. Evidently, scofflaw cyclists are nothing new; thanks to Ted Faber for the link from his hometown.

And Kathy Kurutz forwards a little brighter note to end on today.

Weekend Links: Lawsuit madness in Playa del Rey, walking a bike through G20 riots, and Saturday bike videos

Amidst all the madness, we’re starting to see a few glimmers of sanity.

And more madness.

Wealthy Playa del Rey townhouse owners have filed the first of what may be the first of many lawsuits over the safety improvements in the area, claiming the city failed to file an Environmental Impact Report because they knew it would be unpopular.

Although their lawyer seems a tad confused, claiming the changes on Vista del Mar were made to benefit a handful recreational bike riders. Even though there are no bike lanes on Vista del Mar.

And the changes have made it worse, not better, for cyclists using the roadway.

Meanwhile, Manhattan Beach continues to threaten to sue, while apparently laboring under the same misconception that a bike lane was added on Vista del Mar.

The irony is that the city alleges the lack of advance notice before implementing the road reconfigurations violated the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA. But no one seems to consider the environmental damage done by the unsustainable commutes of countless solo drivers who insist on living in the wealthy beach community while working miles away in LA and Santa Monica.

And expect the people of Los Angeles to put up with it without complaint. Or concerns for their own safety.

Surprisingly, the sanity comes in two pieces written for City Watch, which is more often a home for the bike-hating trolls, or just the very strange.

A member of the Mar Vista Community Council says, despite his personal opposition to the Venice Great Streets Project, the uproar means they have to do their jobs, and find a solution that works for everyone.

And the former president of the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council says it’s time for everyone to just calm down, and if you can’t abide the presence of another human being on the roadway, move to South Dakota already.

Although I suspect the people in South Dakota might just send them back.

Meanwhile, a Santa Monica writer belatedly discovers the Venice Great Streets project while somehow blaming CicLAvia for it, and suggests that its members can show up for meetings because they don’t have jobs.

Never mind that CicLAvia had absolutely nothing to do with the project other than hosting a pop-up demonstration, and bike riders who supported the project have jobs, too. Just like real people.

Seriously, though, you have to admire someone who’s not afraid to show he doesn’t have the slightest clue what he’s writing about.

Do you see a bike lane here? Both photos by Joni Yung.

………

Megan Lynch forwards an extraordinary series of photos taken by photographer Thomas Lohnes, which appear to show 60-year old historian Martin Bühler calmly walking his bike through the recent G20 protests in Hamburg, Germany as police fire water canons around him.

………

CiclaValley shares a look at a driver who insisted on passing, even after being warned there was no room to do it safely. Which is something most of us have experienced far too often.

Although his choice of language is much milder than mine has been in similar situations.

However, no such language is needed in this video depicting a day in the life of an LA Brompton rider. My apologies are in order, though, since I’ve lost track of who sent this one to me. But thank you, anyway.

………

The Tour de France is starting to get interesting, as Chris Froome is no longer looking invincible. America’s last remaining Tour de France winner says all is not well at Team Sky.

Alberto Contador overcame injuries to attack on Friday.

………

Local

The Southern California Association of Governments, aka SCAG, was awarded the 2017 Transportation Planning Excellence Award for its Go Human campaign.

The next Draft: LA Meetup, sponsored by People For Bikes, will be held this Thursday at Pure Cycles in Burbank. But no, it will not last for 27 hours.

A Burbank letter writer says he always rides his bike as far to the right as safely possible, and gets irritated at bike riders who don’t when he’s behind the wheel. In other words, he turns into an angry driver when he sees bicyclists riding safely in the center of the lane, just like they’re supposed to, because that’s not the way he does it.

You can now use your Metro Bike membership in the Rose City, as Metro’s bikeshare system officially opens in Pasadena. Boyonabike welcomes the program to his hometown.

Santa Monica is now considering installing more physical barriers to create protected bike lanes.

This Sunday marks the Whittier Walk & Roll Open Streets event, a four hour, six mile carfree festival.

 

State

Irvine plans to close a 1.2 mile gap in the Jeffrey Open Space Trail, including a new bridge over the 5 Freeway.

An Op-Ed in the San Diego Union-Tribune says the city’s bike commuting plan faces a bumpy road from reluctant commuters, and people who prefer parking to bike lanes. And seemingly expect bike traffic to somehow appear overnight when lanes are built.

A San Diego judge orders a competency hearing for a homeless man accused of striking several people in the back of the head while riding his bike, killing an 83-year old woman.

San Francisco is installing parking-protected bike lanes on two streets to provide a quick safety fix.

Oakland will celebrate bikes this weekend with the Jack London Square Pedalfest, including amphibious bike races.

Bad news from Vallejo, where a father and son were run down from behind by the driver of a pickup, leaving the teenager fighting for his life.

A Sacramento athlete is overcoming his cerebral palsy to compete in a triathlon this weekend.

 

National

NASCAR’s Ryan Newman doesn’t get the whole race driver cycling craze, preferring to work on his farm when he’s not driving.

Milwaukee moves forward with its first bike boulevards. Too bad you can’t say the same about Los Angeles.

Police are looking for a bike raging Chicago rider who put a rock through the window of a BMW after the driver accused him of scratching his car. As tempting as it can be sometimes, just don’t. Period.

A New York man makes his escape on a Citi Bike bikeshare bike after fatally shooting a man.

Residents of an Atlanta neighborhood are angry after the city ripped up a one-year old bike path for no apparent reason, after they’d fought for it for eight years.

A Florida letter writer gets it, telling drivers to calm down, put their phones down and pay attention when they see someone on a bike.

 

International

You think? Gizmodo says maybe dockless bikeshare isn’t a good idea, as abandoned bikes turn up everywhere.

Modacity looks at the insanity of licensing bicyclists, especially when it comes to kids.

Spend your next bike vacation touring Cuba.

The Calgary mountain biker who claimed to have been clotheslined by barbed wire strung over a trail says people have turned on him, questioning the legitimacy of his story — and his now-closed crowdfunding campaign.

Probably wasn’t the best idea. A British headmaster is looking for a new job after calling in sick so he could go on a charity bike ride in Cuba.

A Welsh cyclist got a medal for finishing a charity ride, despite getting lost and ending up riding with the pro cyclists. And so did his dog.

A South African cyclist is on trial for an alleged bike rage attack on two motorists; he claims the driver had “been impatient” with other bicyclists and made him fall off his bike. This is what happens when you can’t control your temper; instead of holding an impatient driver accountable, it’s the guy on the bike who’s facing jail time.

The New York Times examines why people on bicycles inspire such animosity in Australia. And pretty much anywhere else. Thanks to Victor Bank for the heads-up.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a fire truck. Or maybe a $10,000 eco-friendly wooden bike made with no-so-eco-friendly carbon fiber. Or just effing weird.

And new anti-lock bike brakes could promise an end to the endo.

 

Morning Links: Dramatic fallout from Bray-Ali revelations, Red Nose charity ride, and stupid drunken driver tricks

Call it Morning Links Lite today, as too much breaking news and other obligations pulled me in too many different directions to keep up on Thursday.

………

It’s been an amazingly fast collapse.

Wednesday morning, Joe Bray-Ali’s campaign for city council was riding high, with a strong chance of pulling off a remarkable upset of CD1 incumbent Gil Cedillo. Thursday night, his campaign appeared to be in tatters.

What came in between were revelations that he had trolled a white supremacist website, and left offensive comments disparaging fat people, transgender people and people of color.

Yesterday Bray-Ali apologized. But clearly, it wasn’t enough.

By Thursday morning, he had lost the endorsement of the county’s largest Democratic club, as well as Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who represents the neighboring 13th District.

Then Thursday afternoon, the LA Times took the remarkable step of rescinding their endorsement, which they had reaffirmed just last week.

Even Bike the Vote LA, which had long championed Bray-Ali’s run for the city council, grudgingly withdrew their endorsement Thursday night.

KPCC’s look at the two candidates in the race has been largely bypassed by the rapidly moving events; although they caught up by suggesting that Bray-Ali’s campaign is on the ropes, while noting that a lot can change in the next three weeks.

Not surprisingly, Cedillo called for his opponent to step down, saying “there’s no place in Los Angeles for this type of divisiveness.” Only the kind he has engaged in for the past four years, apparently.

His call was echoed by seven other councilmembers, who issued a joint statement calling on Bray-Ali to drop out of the race; the letter was signed by Council President Herb Wesson, along with Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Joe Buscaino, Mitchell Englander, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Paul Krekorian and Nury Martinez.

Even the LACBC, while legally barred from political activity as a nonprofit organization, toed the line by issuing a statement condemning hateful and divisive language that excludes marginalized communities, without directly naming him or anyone else.

Although at last report, Bray-Ali was intending to stay in the race.

But unless someone manages to catch Cedillo on video taking a bribe or giving a Nazi salute, it looks right now like LA’s worst councilmember will continue to block much needed safety improvements in the district for another five and a half years.

But as KPCC suggested, a lot can happen.

On a personal note, I’ve known and respected Joe Bray-Ali for as long as I’ve been involved in bicycle advocacy. While he is not one to worry about political correctness, I have never seen any sign of racist or sexist attitudes or actions on his part; if I had, I would have shunned him as I have others over the years.

Which leaves me upset and confused over the comments that have come to light in recent days. They do not reflect the man I have come to know, and long considered someone who belongs on the council; in fact, I encouraged him to run years before he began to take the idea seriously.

It is only because of the man I know that I am willing to accept his apology. But I believe he owes us all a better explanation for what he was doing on that site, and for the offensive comments he made.

………

Late notice, I know.

But I just got word about the Ride On for Red Nose Challenge, a four day fundraising ride from Santa Barbara to Las Vegas starting this Sunday, sponsored by Walgreens and People For Bikes.

So far it’s raised over $72,000 of the $200,000 goal.

You may still be able to join in if you’re not doing anything next week, and can raise the minimum $5,000 to help end child poverty.

If not, you can see the riders off from Santa Barbara on Sunday. Actually wearing a red nose appears to be optional.

Sunday, April 30 – 11a.m. – noon

A meet and greet with professional cyclists participating in the Ride On For Red Nose Day road ride, locally impacted Red Nose Day charity partners, and Santa Barbara leaders kicking off Day 1 of the 400-mile journey. Day 1 includes a 48-mile ride through Santa Barbara. Riders will depart at noon. Brief remarks at 11:40 a.m., including a welcome from Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson.

………

A reader in Ventura County forwards a reminder of the kind of people we share the road with, whether on foot, two wheels or four.

A 20-year old man will likely face charges for a 6 am Simi Valley freeway crash in which he was allegedly 1) speeding, 2) driving solo in the carpool lane, 3) texting, 4) drunk, 5) underage, and 6) not wearing a seatbelt.

Other than that, though, he appears to be a model driver.

Except for that thing about losing control, jumping over the concrete center divider and smashing into another car head-on. But nobody’s perfect, right?

My source also found what appears to be the driver’s since edited Twitter profile, which notes his love of alcohol and partying till dawn. Which he appears to have lived up to in this case.

………

A heartbreaking reminder, if we needed one, that bike racing is a dangerous sport. Twenty-one-year old New Hampshire cyclist Chad Young, a member of the Axeon Hagens Berman team, suffered a major head injury falling on a high speed descent at the Tour of the Gila on Sunday; sadly, the team reports he is not expected to recover from his injuries.

Steve Tilford’s website has posted Seth Davidson’s moving eulogy of the late cycling legend.

………

Local

Even high school student planners call for a more bike and pedestrian friendly East LA.

A Burbank letter writer credits the cycling community with boosting turnout in the recent local election by 50% above normal.

Santa Monica approves a radically redesigned Lincoln Blvd, but rather than installing bike lanes, they expect “competent cyclists” to share the extra five feet in a bus lane that will be available all but three hours of the day. Which of course will be the three hours bike riders need them most.

Metro Bike will be coming to San Pedro and Wilmington early this summer.

 

State

Cathedral City has begun work on a section of the surprisingly contentious CV Link bikeway around the Coachella Valley, even as the debate rages on in other cities.

A look at the state of bicycling in the City by the Bay.

 

National

Former Bicycling editor Peter Flax says he’s put together Ikea beds and TV consoles that were trickier and more time consuming than building the company’s new Sladda bicycle, though the ride left something to be desired.

CNN reports that the next intoxicated driver you encounter on the road is more likely to be stoned than drunk.

A manufacturer of automated speed cameras says 19% of the drivers caught speeding can be clearly seen holding their cell phones to talk or text, suggesting that the cameras could be used to ticket them for that, as well.

 

International

Cuban cyclist Felix Guirola hasn’t given up on his dream of building the world’s tallest rideable bicycle, with the help of current record holder Stoopidtaller’s builder Ritchie Trimble.

A university professor looks at the unbearable whiteness of cycling in the UK, and his own experiences as a black man on a bike.

 

Finally…

Who among us hasn’t pedaled along the Left Coast with a rhino in tow?

 

Morning Links: Dangerous driver — and pedestrian — tricks, and willfully indignorant* bike-hating writers

The war on bikes goes on.

A Macon GA pedestrian was convicted of misdemeanor assault for body-checking an Air Force chaplain who was riding his bike on a base fitness trail, insisting “the trail is not for bicycles.”

A North Carolina driver faces a second degree murder charge for — allegedly — intentionally running down a bike rider, for the apparent crime of saying something to a woman at a nearby home.

A British Columbia hit-and-run driver may have intentionally targeted a 14-year old competitive cyclist; a witness saw the truck veer into a bike lane to hit her, while reports circulated about a similar truck involved in a previous road rage incident.

Meanwhile, a Toronto writer asks if driving is a privilege, why is it so hard to revoke — and why shouldn’t dangerous drivers be priced off the road?

Or as Tom Vanderbilt put it, a driver’s license is too easy to get, and too hard to lose.

………

Then there are the writers who just don’t get it. And seem damn proud of it.

A Davis columnist doesn’t seem to like the idea of an Idaho Stop Law, because, in his observations, virtually no one on a bike stops for a stop sign anyway, while every single driver comes to a full and complete stop. No, really, you can stop laughing now, that’s what he said.

An Atlanta columnist describes a road diet as “New Urbanism-speak for choking off a road” in hopes that drivers will become so frustrated they’ll go somewhere else.

On the other hand, an Australian columnist gets it, saying licensing bicyclists isn’t the answer, and that only a change in the attitude of all road users will prevent future tragedies.

………

Fallen pro cyclist Michele Scarponi will be buried today in his full team kit; even his parrot is in mourning.

A French pro was the victim of a vicious attack with a baseball bat and a box cutter while on a training ride with two other cyclists.

Former British cyclist Jonathan Tiernan-Locke lost his license for 41 months after being convicted of driving at over twice the legal alcohol limit. This is why people continue to die on the streets, when even a second drunk driving offense results in nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

………

Local

Vision Zero will host four open houses in Southeast and South LA in the coming weeks, with the first one this Thursday. And will roll out a series of events throughout the LA area, starting this week on Hoover Street.

The Better Bikeshare Partnership looks at the Team LACBC Diversity program to encourage more people to take part in the annual Climate Ride, beyond the usual white male suspects.

Speaking of the LACBC, they’ll be holding a roadside bike repair workshop tomorrow evening in conjunction with DTLA’s Just Ride LA bike shop.

 

State

Now that Governor Brown and his wife got new bicycles for Christmas, maybe he’ll be a little more concerned about bicycle safety and providing safe places to ride.

A San Diego man recounts his “amazing” four-day ride along the coast highway from Ocean Beach to Santa Barbara with a friend.

A San Jose woman wants bike riders to pay to fix potholes in the roads, even though bikes don’t cause them. Cyclelicious takes the opportunity to remind us of the Fourth Power Rule, concluding that a Prius causes 38,000 times more road damage to the road than a bicycle.

 

National

People for Bikes compares bicycling to other types of exercise to see how it stacks up; shockingly, riding a bike comes out on top almost every time.

Portland is developing an adaptive bikeshare program to address complaints that the city’s Nike-sponsored systems isn’t accessible to people with disabilities.

Austin TX is doubling the size of their free bikeshare system.

Caught on video: A Skokie IL cop pulls over a driver for tailgating a bike rider, telling them both “I want you to know that I care.” Although it’s kind of scary that the rider didn’t know he was being followed that closely.

A Minnesota TV station profiles a facemask wearing, bike-riding Robocop who records and challenges dangerous drivers.

Drag racer Courtney Force and IndyCar driver Graham Rahal are two of us, as they go fat bike riding in Indianapolis.

Caught on video too: Tennessee firefighters rescue a teenager who tried to ride his bicycle through 50-degree floodwaters.

Life is sickeningly cheap in Florida, where killing a fourth grader riding his bike on the sidewalk is worth nothing more than a $1,000 fine and a one-year license suspension.

 

International

Caught on video three: A bike-raging Toronto cyclist smashes the side mirror of an SUV, accusing the driver of laughing after nearly hitting him; a local advocacy group rightly condemns vigilantism while noting that something clearly led up to the incident.

Horrific story from London, where police are looking for a gang of masked thugs who hacked a teenage bike rider to death for no apparent reason, after harassing people earlier in the evening.

An unmarked bike cop will be riding the streets of Edinburgh to catch and educate drivers who don’t pass safely. Which is really all it takes to enforce the three-foot passing law, and yet, almost no police agencies in the US bother to do it. Including here in Los Angeles.

Forbes says the Glasgow study showing bike commuting can lower your risk of death by all causes 41% is an exceptionally well-controlled study, adding to its credibility. Unlike, say, the one that says you could suffer dementia and have a stroke if you drink diet soda.

A new Dutch system uses bunnies and turtles to tell you whether you need to speed up or slow down to make the next green light. And a cow to say just give up, already.

A bikeshare company is picking up the tab for Beirut’s first prototype bike lane, which will be extended throughout the city if all goes well.

The battle to reclaim Mosul from ISIS rebels has resulted in a unique bicycle culture, as cars and motorcycles are banned from moving in the west side of the city, and bikes are more practical in the rest.

Remembering when bikes went to war a century ago, as members of the Kiwi and Aussie Anzac Cyclist Brigade found themselves trapped in the trenches of WWI.

Nothing like watching a seeming embarrassed kangaroo hide its crotch after just missing an Aussie cyclist.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you’re riding your bike at 2:40 am carrying hash, crack and coke, put a damn light on it and stay off the sidewalk. If you’re going to use your bicycle as a burglary getaway vehicle, again, put a damn light on it, already.

And if you feel the need to salute the cyclist who just beat you in a sprint to the finish, try to use more than one finger.

Or at least hide it from the camera.

 

*A mashup of indignant and ignorant, a truly lovely combination

 

Morning Links: Riding with SaMo’s mayor, crazed California driver, and your next bike should have a bazooka

Evidently, Saturday’s ride with the mayor of Santa Monica was a successful affair.

David Drexler forwarded his thoughts afterwards.

Thanks for the “heads up” about the monthly ride with the Santa Monica Mayor Ted Winterer.

It was a lot of fun.  He is a great guy, and very approachable.

We chatted for a while before the ride, and rode together for a while. He likes to talk about cycling infrastructure and Santa Monica’s plans for the future including a fully protected bike lane from North to South coming up soon for construction that will feed into the East/West green lanes.

The Mayor told me that both he and his wife and 2 children all have bikes at home and ride together, and most days he cycles from his home to his city office in Santa Monica.

Also with us for the ride was the Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole who likes cycling and was pointing out areas for Green Lane expansion and revision to the Mayor during the ride.

You don’t have to be a resident of Santa Monica to participate in the Monthly ride with Mayor, so everyone should consider coming out and chatting with him about cycling next time.

Photo attached of the Mayor (on the left) giving the group instructions before the ride.

………

These are the people we share the roads with.

Somewhere in California, a crazed road raging driver harassed a bike rider, demanding that “all you little bastards” should get out of town, and threatened to come back with a shotgun.

Although any experienced road raging driver would know that using a gun is a crime, but using a car just makes it an accident.

Right?

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

………

Members of the pro peloton name the most promising young riders; no North or Central Americans made the list, though one Columbian rider did.

So much for cleaning up the sport. An anti-doping organization claims no drug testing has been done at the last five international cyclocross events, and they haven’t checked for motor doping, either.

Alberto Contador says it’s more important to ride with style than to win. Something tells me his sponsors would disagree.

Flamboyant world road champ Peter Sagan likes Haribo candies more than post-race interviews; Bicycling Magazine compares his early season behavior to performance art.

VeloNews discusses Saturday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad one-day classic, where riders used a tactic employed by traffic-shy cyclists around the world by taking to the sidewalk. And it turns out the women Omlooped, too. Twice.

………

Local

Road and Track says the future of Los Angeles transportation is full of possibilities, from trains and hydrogen-powered cars to, yes, bicycles.

A new bike-inspired coffee shop and bicycle accessory shop will be opening soon on York Blvd in Highland Park, where a successful road diet has helped bring life to the street. Though this being Los Angeles, not everyone approves.

CiclaValley explains how to take your bike on MetroLink.

There will be a feeder ride for people looking to get from Highland Park to Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets ciclovía/open streets event.

 

State

Bike co-op and advocacy group BikeVentura is officially launching with a party this Saturday.

Sacramento sheriff’s deputies are looking for a bike thief who assaulted the owner of a bike he was trying to steal.

 

National

Nice to know we’re still making life miserable for self-driving cars.

Mobility Lab asks how far is too far to ride to work, concluding that anything beyond 30 miles is just crazy. Although I once met one of the early RAAM competitors, who commuted 157 miles by bike from his home in Steamboat Spring CO through the mountains to Denver, and back again, everyday, even in the dead of winter.

Police in Oregon are searching for the identity of a drunken rider who was hit by a truck on Friday. This is why you should always carry ID. And ride sober.

Young riders of faster ebikes could be required to wear a helmet until they reach the age of 21 under proposed Utah legislation.

A Denver bicyclist claims he was repeatedly passed, then intentionally run down by a road raging street sweeper driver.

A former Wichita KS bike shop owner now runs a bike repair service out of his garage, while offering free bike rentals to anyone who wants to borrow one.

Even heartland cities are attempting to eliminate traffic fatalities, as Columbia MO commits to developing a Vision Zero plan.

Massachusetts is planning a network of bike lanes to keep up with rising demand.

Evidently, blocking bike lanes is nothing new; New York truck drivers have been doing it since at least 1899.

If anyone feels like moving to the deep South, the Georgia Bikes advocacy group is seeking a new executive director.

 

International

Road.cc presents the perfect bikes to buy when you have more dollars than sense.

A Nova Scotia columnist calls on the province to scrap its mandatory bike helmet law, saying that it will keep bikeshare from succeeding there without making riders any safer. Meanwhile, a writer for Forbes says bike helmets can be hazardous to your health by encouraging risky behavior.

British cycling champ Chris Hoy goes from Olympic gold medalist to children’s book author.

Caught on video: A Kiwi parent could face a police investigation after he knocks a BMX rider on his ass for colliding with his skateboarding son at a new skate park.

 

Finally…

Not even bike messengers are safe from automation. Forget a Swiss Army Knife; what you really need is a bazooka-toting Swiss Army Bicycle.

And seriously, cats should know better than to try mountain biking, anyway.

 

Morning Links: Petaluma punishment pass caught on video, and red light-running stupid driver tricks

Welcome back. Please accept my belated wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous new year. And one filled with friends, family and bikes.

Lets hope this coming year is a safe and joyful one for all of us.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

First a Petaluma pickup driver hauling a horse trailer makes what appears to be a punishment pass directed at a couple of bicyclists hugging the white line. Or possibly just a dangerous attempt to cut back in time following an ill-advised pass.

Then stops to have a profanity-laced chat with the riders, telling them to get off the road and onto a non-existent bike path.

Thanks to murphstahoe for the links.

………

And here you thought only bike riders run red lights, right?

Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the heads-up.

………

Sad news, as 1950 Tour de France champ Ferdy Kuebler passed away at a Zurich hospital Thursday; Kuebler won the Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege classics on successive days in 1951 and 1952, as well as a 356-mile, single-day Bordeaux-to-Paris race in ’53.

More sad news, as rising Canadian pro cyclist Ellen Watters was killed in a collision on a training ride; New Brunswick riders are making a new push for a three-foot passing law in the wake of her death, and appear to be gaining support.

Brit Tour de France champ Bradley Wiggins calls it a career at age 36, amid allegations of drug use masked by special medical exemptions.

American pro Andrew Talansky’s Grand Tour plans may have suffered a setback when he broke his thumb after hitting black ice on a Christmas Eve training ride.

………

Local

The LAPD made an arrest in the Hyde Park hit-and-run that left a motorized bike rider seriously injured.

Joe Linton says a recent hit-and-run that left a pedestrian injured shows the need to make NELA’s Fletcher Drive safe.

Debbie Reynolds was one of us, and rode her bike to her first screen test on the Warner Brothers lot from her home in Burbank when she was just 16.

CiclaValley recaps his best articles of the past year.

Pasadena’s Complete Streets Coalition will hold their January meeting next Monday.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson justifiably calls out cyclists on an annual New Years Day ride, where hundreds of bicyclists reportedly blew through red lights on their high-speed tour down the coast, resulting in a crash that injured a pedestrian and a bike rider. And says some riders actually blocked paramedics from getting to them in their attempt to catch up to the peloton. Correction: I’ve heard from someone who was on that ride, who reports that as much of a mess as it was, the rider who collided with the pedestrian was on a different, earlier ride, and said the wreck happened when a pedestrian stepped off the curb while the sun was in his eyes.

 

State

Be careful when you order bikes and parts online. California’s Specialized is suing a number of internet-based bike dealers for selling counterfeit frames and accessories.

California motorists are now prohibited from even holding a mobile phone for any reason while they drive. Of course, it’s already illegal to text or use a handheld phone in the state, and we’ve seen how that worked out.

We may have to deal with bullheaded LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about crashing into Bay Area bulls.

San Francisco’s Vision Zero Coalition calls on the city to study its own traffic safety data.

Sad news from Stockton, where a bike rider was killed New Years Eve after allegedly riding through a red light.

 

National

States may have the traffic data the public needs to demand safer streets, but apparently, they’re under no obligation to share it, thanks to a little-known clause in federal law.

Two years ago there were no protected intersections in the US; now there are 12.

Now you can lock your bike up to a birth control device the next time you ride to Oregon’s Planned Parenthood headquarters.

A San Antonio driver hits a bike rider, takes her to a nearby bar, puts her damaged bike on her car, then drives away without identifying himself.

Great story. A homeless Escondido man rides a beach cruiser 1,640 miles to Wichita KS to build planes, because he says God told him to.

Life is cheap in Iowa, where a driver without insurance gets a whole two days for paralyzing a cyclist. Two. Effing. Days.

A Georgia cop helps a DUI driver turn his life around by buying him a bike to ride to work and AA meetings.

New York City now has a nine-mile long protected bike lane crossing the city.

The New York Times reports on a prominent evangelical preacher who lost his faith following a 40 mph solo fall on his bike.

A Miami rider offers a full year of stupid driver tricks caught on bike cam video.

A Florida man has a new bike thanks to a kindhearted EMS supervisor, who bought him one after his was totaled in a crash.

 

International

A new Canadian study says you may end up in the ICU, but at least you don’t have to stop cycling. Meanwhile, A new Chinese study shows riding a bicycle can reduce depression in patients undergoing hemodialysis.

Cycling Weekly offers essential commuting clothes for riding to work, not much of which actually is.

I want to be like him when I grow up. Eighty-seven year old English rider sets three world age group records.

1970’s glam rockers Slade will be cancelling their shows for the next few months after lead guitarist and founding member Dave Hill broke his elbow in a collision with a bike rider.

Dublin votes to cut speed limits to the equivalent of 18 mph throughout the city to improve safety. So when will California realize lives are more important than speed, and allow cities to set safer limits?

An Irish study says boys are ten times more likely to ride their bikes to school than girls.

An Indian tycoon plans to revitalize Great Britain’s declining bike-making industry.

A bicyclist rides 4,600 miles through nine Indian states on a solar-powered ebike.

A New Zealand man gets on his bike for the first time in five years. And gets knocked off by a road-raging driver who drove onto the sidewalk to deliberately ram into him.

A Tokyo pedestrian was killed by a lightless, distracted bike rider on a narrow, sloping passageway where bicyclists aren’t even supposed to ride.

Singapore is installing bikeways in neighborhoods around the island and encouraging the use of personal mobility devices in an attempt to go car-lite.

 

Finally…

This is why you hire an American PR firm to handle your US launch. Busted for driving under the influence of caffeine.

And Ricky Gervais is one of us. Even if he can’t figure out how to use a Presta valve.

………

Thanks to George Wolfberg, Karen Karabell, Eric Lewis, Glen Schmuetz and Stephen Katz, and to everyone who gave to last month’s BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. The kindness and generosity of shown by the readers of this site has moved me more than I could possibly express.

I’d like to thank you all individually, but PayPal now keeps the email addresses of donors hidden. Which is probably a good thing, even if it means I have to thank you here, instead.

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