Tag Archive for Stupid Driver Tricks

Bypassing busy traffic on 7th Street, notes from the LAPD bike task force, and Beverly Hills bike lanes redux

When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s a traffic lane allowing impatient drivers to bypass backed-up traffic for a whole block, shaving maybe a few seconds off the evening commute.

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A few notes from last week’s meeting with the LAPD’s bike liaisons.

First off, Sgt. Lazlo Sandor has taken over as bike liaison for the West Traffic Division; you’ll find his email address on the Resources page.

As part of Chief Beck’s proclamation that this will be the year of traffic enforcement, the LAPD has transferred a number of officers to work the city’s four traffic divisions. The good news is, the city is now focused on cracking down on dangerous drivers — like the one in the video above, for instance. The bad news is, bike violations are considered traffic offenses as well, so be forewarned.

One of the biggest problems in fixing traffic problems has long been that no one has been tracking bicycling and pedestrians collisions, injuries and fatalities. Which meant no one had a clue just what and where those problems might be, let alone how to solve them. Fortunately, the LAPD is now keeping track of all of the above as part of their Compstat program, requiring traffic officers to appear four times a year to discuss problems in their areas. And the department is tracking the most dangerous intersections for all road users to determine what has to be done to improve safety for everyone.

Last week’s story that Houston police officers were conducting traffic stings to improve safety for the city’s cyclists made news around the world. Which may have come as a surprise to LA officers, who have been doing the same thing for some time without public notice. In fact, LA’s West Traffic Division has conducted nine such stings since the first of the year — eight to enforce bike lane issues and one for stop sign enforcement. A total of 53 people were cited, including both cyclists and drivers; LAPD policy does not allow for selective enforcement, so they’re required to write up any violations they see during a sting, regardless of who commits it.

Finally, they stressed the importance of getting permits in advance for events that will require police participation. When the recent Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race was cancelled at the last minute, the department cancelled the officers who had been scheduled to work the event. Then when it was rescheduled at the last minute as a ride, they had to scramble to get enough officers to work the event on such short notice, and ended up paying out over $10,000 in overtime. While they understood the situation with the Marathon Crash, they ask for a minimum of 28 days advance notice to avoid any issues if you’re planning some sort of event.

On the other hand, if you break the law, they’re happy to show up with little or no notice.

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The subject of bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd through Beverly Hills is back on the council agenda this Tuesday. Except they’re not, but maybe they are. It’s a complicated subject explained well by Better Bike.

Meanwhile, a Beverly Hills homeowner’s association offers their reasons why bike lanes are a bad idea, few if any of which actually hold water.

For instance, someone should tell them that California law requires that drivers merge into bike lanes before making right turns, rather than turning across the lane as they suggest (#2). And surprisingly, blind spots exist on motor vehicles, which can hide the presence of bikes from careless drivers like themselves, whether or not bike lanes exist.

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Finally, this just in as a friend of mine reports an assault while riding home on PCH in Orange County.

I was riding on the super dark stretch of PCH between the oilfield and 10,000 miles of ocean. An empty car was stopped, no blinkers, on the shoulder. With cars coming up behind me at 60mph, the only option is to stop and wait for them to pass, or hike over the shrubs on the slope to the right of the (red) curb.

I take a picture of the car, and an angry guy kicks the driver’s side door open, emerges, and comes at me barking, “What the fuck are you doing?”

I dismount in case I have to run for it and start backing away while he repeatedly demands the camera, which he ain’t gonna get.

Long story short, he ends up throwing me, my bike & my bag (containing the Coolpix he was so interested in, plus my MacBook Air & iPad) into the ice plant.

I’m not injured, but my glasses are still out there because I gave up looking for them when the damn sprinklers came on. Also, I called Hunny PD back, and arranged them to just meet me at work for the report. The officer arrived before me AND TOLD MY COWORKER I HAD BEEN HIT BY A CAR. Boy, was she relieved when I grumped up my boss’s porch stairs with bike on shoulder & no visible injuries.

Lesson: Assume even parked cars are full of ex-convicts who will be violently angry with you for nothing.

I’m scared to check my MacBook.

Just another right hook — from the left lane

After awhile, you get to know the streets you ride.

Like this intersection on eastbound Ohio Ave, one block west of Sepulveda. I’ve learned to slow down there in anticipation of right hooks, as drivers stuck in traffic make a sudden decision to turn right without checking the bike lane first.

But I’ve never been right hooked from the left lane before.

Just another ride on the Westside, and the Department of DIY finds a way on the LA River

Please forgive yesterday’s radio silence.

I try to post something every day, or weekday, anyway; even bike bloggers need a little time off. But sometimes the demands of daily life get in the way.

And sometimes, I just need to get in a good ride on a perfect fall LA day. Good ride being a relative term, if Westside drivers have any say in the matter.

Then there’s the problem of the day’s designated Preventer of Productivity climbing up unbidden for an extended round of petting, ear scratching and belly rubs, forming an impermeable barrier between my laptop and lap.

Fortunately, I’ve learned to edit video one handed.

Sienna on lap

Then there’s another project that’s been occupying most of my time lately, which I hope to share with you in the coming weeks as progress allows.

Stay tuned.

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Meanwhile, Patrick Pascal sends word that the Department of DIY has been hard at work on wayfinding signage on the LA River bike path near the southern end of the Frogtown section, which he describes as “both professional and also informative, useful and long overdue.”

Word is that the city is working on a half million dollar wayfinding system of their own, which will cover bikeways across the city.

But whether they can do a better job than the person or persons who took it upon themselves to craft these particularly well-done on-path street signs remains to be seen.

la river path denbyA well-deserved tip of the hat, whoever you are.

Stupid human tricks: Hit-and-run triathlete, assault on a cyclist, and confused SF and NYC cops and DAs

Maybe it’s just me, but there seems to be a common theme to much of this week’s news.

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A Chicago cyclist is injured in a deliberate assault, as a passenger in a passing SUV reaches out and grabs her messenger bag, dragging her alongside the vehicle until her bike crashed into a parked car.

Evidently, just for the heck it, as she reported that the occupants were laughing as they risked her life.

Fortunately, she wasn’t badly hurt. But it’s another argument for protected bike lanes as she was quick to point out.

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Following the death of a San Francisco bicyclist, members of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition held a rally calling for improved safety and a separated bike lane on the street where she was right hooked by a truck driver who illegally turned across the bike lane she was riding in.

Evidently, one of San Francisco’s finest didn’t get the memo.

He illegally parked his patrol car in the middle of the bike lane, in the middle of the rally — despite an empty parking space to his right — forcing riders to leave the bike lane to go around his car. All to make a point that bike riders are supposed to pass on the left, just like anyone else.

Except they aren’t. Bikes are allowed to split lanes in California. And cyclists using a bike lane are in a separate lane from automotive traffic, and are no more required to stop for traffic in the lane next to them than a driver in the right lane would be expected to stop for one in the left.

Which isn’t to say it’s not the smartest move in response to clueless drivers sometimes.

Better to come to a full stop even though the law doesn’t require it than end up under the wheels of a car or truck.

And he blamed the death of Amelie Le Moullac, and two other bike riders killed by trucks in the same area this year, strictly on the victims. Even though the truck driver who killed Le Moullac was most likely overtaking her, rather than the other way around.

So he took the law into his own hands, apparently making the law up as he went along and needlessly risking the safety of anyone using that bike lane, just to blame the victim of a collision that’s still under investigation and attempting to bully bike riders into seeing the world through his own windshield perspective.

Sound about right?

If he’s not working a desk and worrying about his pension today, there’s something seriously wrong in Baghdad by the Bay.

Thanks to murphstahoe and Bike Soup USA for the heads-up.

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Thankfully, not all San Francisco cops have their heads so far up their own badges, as the department responded to a tweet from a tipster to bust a bike chop shop.

And speaking of bike thieves, a San Francisco resident noticed one riding off on a stolen bike. And promptly nailed him with an ice cube from his third floor apartment.

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In a case of someone who really should have known better, a well-known San Francisco triathlete has been arrested for the hit-and-run that left a Bay Area business suffering from the after effects of a severe brain injury.

Ironman champion Meredith Kessler was allegedly driving the SUV that ran into Soren Krogh-Jensen as he walked in a crosswalk last March, tossing him into the air before crashing back down ob his head. Security video shows her remaining at the scene for several minutes, reportedly checking the victim before getting back in her car and running away like just another heartless coward.

You’d expect better behavior from someone who rides a bike, especially at that level.

At least, I would.

Then again, instant karma seems to have played a role, as Kessler suffered a head injury herself in a collision with another rider while competing in a triathlon that followed the hit-and-run.

And yes, I know karma doesn’t really work that way.

But still.

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On the opposite coast, a New York City cop decides to ticket a bike rider for going through a red light by knocking her off her bike, apparently failing to realize — or perhaps not caring — that any fall from a bike can result in serious injury.

Or worse.

That’s like deliberately crashing into a driver’s vehicle in order to make a simple traffic stop. Or pistol whipping a pedestrian for jaywalking.

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Update: Thanks to Joe B for pointing out that the case below actually dates to 2009. For some reason it popped up in a web search for stories posted online in the previous 24 hours, and I neglected to check the date before writing this. So the good news is, maybe today’s New York isn’t as bad as it seems; or maybe the bad news is, this sort of thing has been going on longer than we thought. 

Or maybe I just need to avoid posting my own stories after 1 am. My apologies.

In another example of the sheer idiocy of officials in supposedly bike-friendly New York, a rider faces a charge of criminal mischief after he was deliberately doored by the driver of a massive SUV.

The vehicle was stopped partially blocking a protected bike lane with no indication of why it was stopped; but when the rider attempted to go around it, it started moving again.

So the cyclist responded by slapping the side of the SUV to warn the driver he was there; I’ve done the same thing more than once, and seen other cyclists do it as well.

It usually scares the crap out of the driver, but it’s better than getting run over by someone who doesn’t even know you’re there.

But I’ve never seen anyone respond the way this driver did, flinging open his door into the victim and knocking him off his bike. Then standing over him threateningly before picking up the man’s bike and setting it on the kickstand and driving away.

Leave it to the New York DA’s office to victimize the victim all over again, apparently for that potentially life-saving tap on the driver’s door.

According to the story, criminal mischief requires property damage in excess of $250 — which is far more likely to have been caused by the door hitting the rider than the other way around.

And this from the city Bicycling ranks as the 7th most bike-friendly community in the US.

Maybe the New York DA’s office didn’t get the memo, either.

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In another horrifying case from Gotham City, a taxi driver took the leg — or possibly legs — of an English tourist after an apparent dispute with a bike rider.

And Dr. Oz came running to the rescue.

The bike rider, who was injured in the incident, was next to the cab when the driver allegedly became impatient while attempting to make a left turn. When the rider attempted to tell him to stop, the cabbie reportedly became angry and stepped on the gas, tossing the cyclist onto his hood before slamming into the woman who was sitting on a piece of concrete street furniture.

Her life was apparently saved by a bystander who had the presence of mind to use his belt as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding on her severed leg, while another put the amputated limb on ice. Reports are her other foot was crushed and may not be able to be saved.

TV’s Dr. Oz reportedly saw the collision from his studio window, and came down to help, followed by a camera crew.

Needless to say, the NYPD seems to have ignored everything leading up to the crash and quickly determined there was no criminality involved. Not an impatient, careless or road raging driver, but just another tragic oops.

Fortunately, the city’s DA — yes, the same ones who charged the cyclist in the previous story — is taking another look at it. And the agency responsible for licensing cab drivers is taking steps to revoke the driver’s taxi license for a whopping 30 days; although under the circumstances, life would seem more appropriate.

Meanwhile, advocates are trying to get the NYPD to take traffic crime seriously, instead of just targeting bike riders while ignoring speeding motorists.

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A Florida detective makes a U-turn without checking his mirror, and collides with a driver in the next lane. But of course, it’s the stop sign-running bike rider who gets the blame.

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A British mom gives her hockey playing son a new BMW because she thought it was too dangerous to ride his bike to work.

Forty-two days later, he was killed driving his new car.

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Newport Beach’s highway-style right turn lanes put cyclists and pedestrians at needless risk. Actually, these are far too common throughout Orange County as well as San Diego County; another example of well-meaning but outdated planning gone dangerously amuck.

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But at least the Tour de France was dope-free this year. Right?

Although now that I think about it, I remember the same being said about Lance in the not too distant past.

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Finally, here’s the story I wrote for LA Streetsblog as guest editor yesterday, reporting on the new Save Our Streets LA proposal to repave the city’s crumbling streets.

And hopefully fix the sidewalks and install bikeways and build complete streets in the process.

A slow building right hook, how it looks to be invisible and a very courteous SaMo parking officer

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a chance to post any videos from my recent rides.

I ended up deleting most of them this past month as I worked to catch up from my recent involuntary computer downtime. And anything that didn’t seem all that dramatic didn’t make the cut.

But here are a few that did.

First up, as happens far too often, a driver speeds up to pass me on Abbot Kinney, then cuts in front of me to make a right turn. He might have gotten away with it if he hadn’t had to stop short to let a pedestrian cross the street he was turning onto.

If I didn’t have good brakes — thanks Chris! — and more importantly, been prepared to use them, this could have had a different outcome.

Note to drivers — never count on a best case scenario to complete a move you shouldn’t have started in the first place.

Then there’s this one taken the same day while riding past the VA hospital in Brentwood, in which I discover just how it feels to be invisible, by nearly rear-ending a driver who pulled out directly in front of me.

Same notes about good brakes and preparation, same thank you to Chris, formerly of the Westwood Helen’s and now a rockstar bike buyer in the Santa Monica store.

And by the way Chris, if you ever need someone to review anything…

Finally, my videos tend to focus on stupid driver tricks, simply because that’s what I usually encounter on the streets. And what shows up well on video.

Trust me, I wish the video of the idiot who nearly t-boned me Thursday by making a left into the bike lane I was riding in on San Vicente had come out better so I could show it to you. But even though he finally stopped about a foot from my left hip, I was looking straight ahead at the time trying to get the hell away from him.

And the camera doesn’t show what I’m not looking at.

But riding north on Ocean through downtown Santa Monica that same day, I was annoyed to find a parking enforcement officer cruising in the bike lane ahead of me, and started searching for a break in traffic to go around him.

Until he evidently noticed me in his rear view mirror, that is, and courteously — and safely — pulled out of my way to let me pass.

And no, he wasn’t pulling over to write a ticket; he gave me a wave as I passed, then pulled back in behind me once I was out of the way.

Note to the City of Santa Monica — if you can identify this guy from the video, give him a medal or a commendation or something.

He makes your city look damn good.

If only all your parking officers — let alone drivers — would follow his lead, the streets would be a much safer place for all of us.

A couple quick reminders that cars are big, dangerous machines that must be used with caution

No, really.

Who could have possibly seen something like this coming?

Besides everyone, I mean.

A pickup truck driver crashed into a building in Downtown L.A. on Sunday, injuring several people on the sidewalk and killing a 52-year old woman; reportedly, the collision was the result of a previously known medical condition.

Meanwhile, a 40-year old man was arrested after using his car as a weapon to ram two men he’d argued with earlier inside a Downtown strip club; one man lost both legs while the other had one leg severed.

Yet somehow, to some people, the biggest problem on our streets is scofflaw bike riders blowing through red lights and stop signs.

Yes, everyone needs to observe the law, and ride and drive safely and legally.

But motor vehicles are dangerous machines, used too often in dangerous ways. And until we accept that as a society, people will continue to be needlessly killed and maimed on our streets.

It’s not cyclists who kill over 33,000 people on American streets every year.

But you wouldn’t know that from reading some of the comments online.

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An unlicensed Santa Barbara BMW driver hits another car while making an unsafe turn, hits a cyclist riding in a bike lane trying to flee the scene, gets stuck on the curb, then nearly runs over a pedestrian trying to stop him.

The driver was arrested on charges of hit-and-run with injury, driving without a license and driving under the influence; he also faces charges of dissuading a witness.

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That petition calling on Governor Brown to atone for his vetoes by signing a three-foot passing law the third time around has now passed over 700 signatures.

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Los Angeles continues to needlessly treat cyclists like second-class citizens on its streets. The LACBC and the authors of Where To Bike LA invite you to join them on a tour of the Rio Hondo, Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers next Saturday. The LACBC’s Planning Committee will host a forum with three of the area’s leading bike planning experts on Thursday, March 21 at LACBC headquarters, 634 S. Spring Street. A 31-year old woman was airlifted to UCLA Medical Center with serious injuries after a solo fall while mountain biking off Mulholland Highway. Burbank police will participate in the Police Unity Tour Bike Ride this May, riding from New Jersey to DC in honor of Burbank Police Officer Matthew Pavelka, who was killed in the line of duty 10 years ago. Burbank bans mobile billboards, including those pulled on trailers that can block bike lanes or fall and injury a cyclist or others passing by. Following the death of bike riding student Ivan Aguilar, a Cal Poly Pomona official promises to maintain the auto-centric focus on campus for the foreseeable future, while police continue their investigation. A look at one of SoCal’s leading bike advocates and nicest people, Melissa Balmer, founder of Women on Bikes.

The founder of Vista CA-based Electra bikes started a revolution in casual bicycling. A Santa Rosa cyclist explains why he isn’t one anymore. Sonoma County considers adopting an L.A.-style anti-harassment ordinancethanks to Megan Lynch for the link. Over 100 bicyclists ride in honor of two fallen Santa Cruz police officers. Two Santa Cruz County bicyclists are air-lifted to trauma centers in unrelated incidents. Could bike tourism make a difference in Redding? I’ve said it before, if you’re carrying illegal drugs and a weapon, use a headlight on your bike.

If you want to get more women on bikes, try treating them like normal people; my thought exactly. The Cascade Bicycle Club talks with Ed Orcutt, the Washington Representative who called for taxing bike riders because our breath emits greenhouse gases, and finds he’s not all bad. Phoenix police look for not one, but two hit-and-run drivers who fatally tag-teamed a bicyclist. A Boulder CO dump truck driver is convicted of careless driving resulting in death for killing a bike rider — his second offense involving a cyclist in the last four years. If you don’t think the lives of cyclists count, you’re right, at least in Wyoming. Topeka cyclists discover bike polo, saving some unused tennis courts from closure in the process. When a local rider is killed Lubbock TX, cyclists share tips on how to stay safe. After losing 60% of it’s population, Cleveland is slowly becoming a bike and pedestrian friendly city. After years of clearing killer drivers by reciting the mantra “no criminality involved,” New York police finally get serious about investigating traffic collisions; they’ve also stopped referring to collisions as accidents.  A Rochester NY driver flees the scene after Jerry Browning a cyclist riding in a bike lane with an alcohol level over twice the legal limit; yet somehow, he was still allowed behind the wheel despite a “significant criminal history” of prior DUI offenses.

A drunken Brazilian driver flees with a cyclist’s severed arm inside his car, dumping it into s stream before turning himself in. A highly detailed examination of the pros and cons of bicycle registration, including Nazi Germany’s fondness for licensing bikes; so when you license a bike, you ride with Hitler. The Pakistan cycling team gets visas to compete in the Asian Cycling Championships for the first time. South African cyclists ride to call for a five-foot passing law in honor of fallen pro cyclist Burry Stander.

Finally, an extremely drunk Montana rider crashed his bike into the back of a patrol car; no word on whether he damaged the alcohol monitoring bracelet he was wearing. And following a terrifying road rage assault, a Kansas City cyclist threatens to kill his attacker.

With kindness.

This is what a right hook looks like

California law requires drivers to merge into a bike lane before making a right turn, after ensuring that the lane is clear.

This is why.

More stupid driver tricks for your weekend entertainment, and a long list of coming bike events

Before we get to this week’s events, let’s take a few seconds — literally — to look at a couple new helmet cam videos from a recent ride.

I’d like to say these are unusual events. No, really, I would.

But I see some sort of stupid driver tricks like this virtually every time I ride. Yet somehow, most drivers only seem to notice the cyclists who blow through red lights and stop signs.

Go figure.

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Bike Talk airs every Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

Bike Long Beach hosts Bike Saturdays every weekend; ride your bike to participating local shops and business throughout the city to get special offers and discounts.

new support group has formed for people who have been involved in a bicycle collision. Everyone is welcome to share your experiences, gain insight and understanding into your emotional state and develop new coping strategies. The group will meet Saturdays from 11:30 am to 1 pm at 6310 San Vicente Blvd, Suite 401. Current LACBC members receive a discount. To learn more, contact Aurisha Smolarski at 323/203-1526 or email aurisha.smolarski@gmail.com.

If you’re reading this on Saturday, you’ve probably already missed the ride to benefit injured cyclist Russell Moon, starting at 7:30 am at Ocean Ave and San Vicente Blvd in Santa Monica. But maybe you can still stop by the same location at the end of the ride, where Moon will be in attendance from 11 am to 12:30 pm.

Flying Pigeon hosts their monthly Brewery Ride on Saturday, November 3rd from 3 to 5:30 pm. Riders meet at the Flying Pigeon LA Bike Shop, 3404 N. Figueroa St, and ride to a local brewery or beer-centric pub and back. That will be followed by the Spoke(n) Art Ride on Saturday, November 10th, and the Get Sum Dim Sum Ride on Sunday, November 18th.

This month’s LACBC Sunday Funday ride will take place on Saturday night, instead. The Haunted Saturday Funday Ride (scroll down) will take meet at 3:45 pm on Saturday, November 3rd at The Georgian, 1415 Ocean Ave in Santa Monica, rolling at 4:15 pm. Led by Executive Director Jen Klausner, the 16 mile ride will visit spooky destinations like the Marquez Family Cemetery, Sullivan Ridge Fire Road and the Murphy Ranch. Expect some climbing and descending; dirt-worthy bikes recommended.

Monday, November 5th, the High Desert Cyclists hold their monthly Cruiser Ride from 9 am to 12 noon. The easy, slow paced rides run about 20 miles, at a speed of about 10 mph, with stops along the way. This month’s ride meets at the north side parking lot at Ave S and the Aquaduct in Palmdale.

The Newport Beach Citizens Bicycle Safety Committee will meet at 4:30 pm on Monday, November 5th in the Friends Room of the Central Library, 1000 Avocado Ave. The meeting is open to the public, and anyone who lives or rides in the area is encouraged to attend.

Also on the 5th, the South Pasadena City Council will consider extending the Arroyo Seco bike path, and is asking for input from bicyclists. The meeting starts at 6 pm in the South Pasadena City Council Chambers, 1424 Mission Street.

Tuesday, November 6th is Election Day. Your vote matters, not just in deciding the next president, but for federal, state and local offices, as well as countless state and local measures. Be sure to Bike the Vote by riding to your polling place to show the world that we vote, too.

The stepdaughters of fallen cyclist Benjamin Torres are hosting a BikeRun in honor of their stepfather on November 10th starting at Rowley Park in Gardena, and proceeding to Wilton Place and 135th St. The ride assembles at 3:30 pm and rolls at 4 pm. I highly recommend this one to honor a hit-and-run victim who should still be with us.

Sunday, November 11th, the Culver City Bicycle Coalition is holding their first annual Cruise the Creek Fun Ride and Membership Drive. The intermediate level ride will run roundtrip from Culver City’s Syd Kronenthal Park, 3459 McManus Ave, to Manhattan Beach and back, followed by a family picnic and raffle in the park. Riders assemble at 9:30 am, departing at 10, with a kids ride in the park from 11 am to 1 pm and lunch from 12:30 to 2:30 pm. The ride is free for CCBC members, $10 for non-members.

CORBA (the Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association) invites riders to meet at the Hub in Topanga State Park on Saturday, November 17th to celebrate their 25th anniversary and show that mountain bikers can co-exist on off-road trails. Riders will meet at 10 am, with a group photo and cash prizes starting at 10:30.

Also on the 17th, C.I.C.L.E. is hosting the Made in LA Ride: Wine, Robots and Hot Spicy Tomato Sauce! from 10 am 1:30 pm, departing at 10:30. The ride starts the LA State Historic Park entrance to Chinatown Station, 901 N. Spring Street, and will explore institutions associated with products made in the City of Angels. A $10 donation is suggested, however, no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Here’s your chance to ride with Mayor Frank Quintero at Walk Bike Glendale’s 2nd annual Mayor’s Bike Ride. The family friendly ride is open to all ages, and meets at Glendale City Hall, 613 E. Broadway, starting at 9 am.

Sunday, November 18th, the Westside’s Bikerowave is holding a free basic bike fitting class starting at 4 pm at 12255 Venice Blvd; RSVP at bikerowaveclasses@gmail.com.

Few things go together better than bikes and beer, which is what you’ll get with the Stone Brewing Company Brewcyclers Ride on Saturday, December 1st. Riders will meet at Stone Brewing, 1999 Citracado Parkway in Escondido at 8:30 am, departing at 9 am sharp on a 20 mile roundtrip loop.

The LACBC’s second Tour de Taste is scheduled for Sunday, December 2nd; mark your calendar for a unique combination of bikes and great food. And yes, I’ll be there in some capacity to be determined.

High Desert Cyclists win the award for the first scheduled Christmas party of the year, to be held at 7 pm on Monday, December 17th at the Texas Cattle Company, 44206 10th Street West in Lancaster. You can also buy a $40 raffle ticket for a chance to win a $600 Bicycle John’s gift certificate; the raffle ticket includes a free one year family membership to the HDC.

Registration is now open for a six-day ride through San Diego and Riverside Counties between the holidays. The HI-USA Christmas Trip, which has rolled every year since the mid-1950s, starts in San Diego on December 26th and returns on December 31st, with five overnights in between. Total mileage runs between 360 and 400 miles, with terrain ranging from urban to rural, mountains to desert. Thanks to Marvin Davis for the heads-up.

Make your plans for the Malibu 7-Canyon Ride on Saturday, March 23rd with rides of 100 mile, 100 kilometers and 50 miles. The fully supported ride will begin at Zuma Beach, and pass through Latigo, Encinal, Decker, Mulholland, Little Sycamore, Yerba Buena and Deer Creek Canyons, with over 9,000 feet of climbing on the century ride. The first 200 people to register before November 15th will get a 15% discount; enter the code First200 on the registration page.

Self-entitled bike lane driving SaMo driver

It’s been one of those days. Besides other commitments, I haven’t been able to pull myself away from the news from the East coast.

So today’s post will be tomorrow’s post.

But in the meantime, here’s the latest stupid driver trick caught on helmet cam to keep you entertained.

Stupid driver tricks, Ohio edition — cyclist hit by sidewalk driver

I’m on the run today, so no time for a full update.

But I couldn’t let the morning go without sharing this story from Ohio bike lawyer Steven Magas.

We’d been trading a few emails about a case he’s working on, and the importance of video evidence in contradicting the usual knee-jerk blame that seems to fall on any cyclist involved in a traffic collision these days. And how security cameras, which seem to be just about everywhere these days, can often catch the incident as it unfolds.

I know.

The idea of me offering advice to an expert attorney like Steve is like telling the Pope how to avoid callouses on his knees.

Especially when my simple suggestion to look for security footage from nearby businesses results in a story like this.

It seems one of his clients had an odd and unexpected collision as he was riding awhile back.

The cyclist, an airline pilot, came up a hill and made right turn around a blind corner; his view of the street he was turning onto was blocked by a small business on the corner to the right until he was well into the intersection.

The moment of impact, capture by security cam.

Then out of nowhere, he was hit by a car, with no idea how the collision occurred or where the car came from.

Naturally, the driver screamed at the rider for hitting his car, even though the cyclist had made his turn on a green light and should have had the right-of-way.

So in an attempt to understand what had happened, he went back to the site of the collision later to take a look around. And just happened to notice a security camera on a building facing the intersection.

He talked to the building owner, and got a copy of the video footage for the time of his collision.

And yes, it had captured the full thing.

Car parked on the sidewalk, facing the wrong way, just prior to pulling out and hitting the cyclist.

Including the moments just prior to the collision, showing the driver illegally parked on the sidewalk — on the wrong side of the street, no less — hidden from view by the building to his right.

Yes, you read that right.

He was parked on the sidewalk, facing oncoming traffic.

And just as cyclist rounded the corner, the driver pulled out into the oncoming traffic lane, on the wrong side of the road and against the light, slamming into the bike rider with no warning.

So naturally, he insisted the rider was at fault. Despite, as Steve points out, a) illegally parking on the sidewalk, b) illegally parking facing traffic, c) illegally pulling out into the intersection against the light d) illegally entering traffic on the wrong side of the road.

But other than that, he didn’t do a damn thing wrong.

Okay, except failing to observe the right-of-way, and making sure the way was clear before pulling out.

Oh, and parking next to a fire hydrant.

At least, that’s the approach his insurance company seems to be taking, denying the claim despite the video footage proving their client was at fault.

Un-effing-believable.

I’m not always the world’s biggest fan of lawyers.

But I thank God we have people like Steven Magas, and the other bike lawyers listed over there on the right, to fight for our rights when logic and the law seem to go out the window.

……..

Don’t forget tonight’s meeting to discuss improving safety on the east end of PCH in Malibu. I’m not sure yet if my schedule will allow me to be there, but if you ride PCH — or would like to, if it was safer — this meeting matters.

And I’ve received word from Caltrans that PCH will be open to cyclists this weekend, though subject to delays, despite lane closures on Saturday and Sunday for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon.

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