Tag Archive for Stupid Human Tricks

Morning Links: It’s bike video Friday — lo-fi Birds remake, Rapha Rides LA, and how not to win friends on a bike

Let’s start off with handful of bike videos to get your holiday weekend going.

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Bike video #1: I’m all for lo-fi cinema, but this low budget remake of The Birds can’t match the original.

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Bike video #2: Rapha rides Los Angeles with artist and designer, Geoff McFetridge.

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Bike video #3: This is probably not the best way to win friends and influence people.

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Bike video #4: It was Ridiculous Day at Thursday’s Stage 12 of the Vuelta, where Maxim Belkov was shoved off his bike by a spectator, going over the barriers and into a ditch.

Thanks for video! I hope there will be less such incidents! It's immoral. Thank you all, everything is fine with me👌

A post shared by Maxim Belkov (Максим Бельков) (@maximbelkov) on

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Bike video #5: A policeman guarding the Vuelta route apparently shoved a fan into a Shimano race moto, causing the rider to crash.

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In today’s mostly spoiler-free Vuelta update, the race leader was vertically challenged during Thursday’s stage 12.

The team bus belonging to Ireland’s Team Aqua Blue Sport went up in flames before the 12th stage when someone shoved a mattress under the bus and lit it on fire; fortunately, no one was in the bus at the time.

Kiwi cyclist George Bennett pulled out of the Vuelta after struggling with the same virus that made him drop out of the Tour de France six weeks earlier.

Former Senator, Secretary of State and presidential candidate John Kerry has been working the phones to find a new sponsor for the Cannondale-Drapac cycling team.

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Local

Great piece in The Argonaut about the weekly Venice Electric Light Parade, where people on colorfully lighted bikes ride through Santa Monica, Venice and Marina del Rey. Thanks to Audrey Kopp for the heads-up.

KCRW’s Frances Anderton responds to critics of the station’s piece on the anger over road diets in Playa del Rey.

CiclaValley gets dirty on the way to the Mount Baldy ski lodge.

Helen’s Cycles hosts a pair of group rides tomorrow, along with another in Arcadia next weekend.

The LACBC hosts their monthly Sunday Funday ride this Sunday, with a slow, family friendly ride from Gilbert Lindsay Park to the Washington Blue Line Station.

 

State

Santa Ana has opened a 1.1 mile network of bike lanes and sharrows connecting the south side of the city to the downtown area; the project was funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Partnerships to Improve Community Health program.

More than 11,000 people have signed a petition demanding that homeless camps be removed from the multi-use Santa Ana River Trail. Evidently, living on it is not one of the approved uses.

An apparent Bakersfield bike thief was killed in a collision with a flatbed truck moments after making off with a bicycle when the owner left it unlocked outside a convenience store.

The district attorney in San Luis Obispo County will attempt to try a 17-year old girl as an adult after the collision that killed a bike-riding Cal Poly student; she could face felony vehicular manslaughter, DUI and hit-and-run charges. The victim was a graduate of Murietta’s Mesa High School.

Santa Cruz has completed the final segment of a five-mile bike and pedestrian pathway along the San Lorenzo River.

The city manager of Daly City believes trash cans belong in the bike lane, in clear violation of CVC 21211(b).

These are the people we share the roads with. A San Francisco driver ran a red light and struck several vehicles, some parking meters, a tree and at least eight pedestrians; fortunately, no one was seriously injured. Should we really be surprised that no arrest has been made?

More sad news from the northern part of the state, where a man in his 50s was killed while riding his bicycle in south Sacramento County.

 

National

Streetsblog sums up the Governors Highway Safety Association report we discussed yesterday by saying the transportation establishment is finally beginning to understand bicycling.

Now your Oakleys can protect your skull, as well as wrapping points south.

A Madison WI program is working to get more Spanish-speaking immigrants out on their bikes.

After recording a series of bicyclists crash on the railroad tracks outside his window, a University of Tennessee civil engineering professor solves the problem by discovering that riders wheels won’t get caught if they cross at a 60 degree angle.

Pittsburgh got its first bicycle traffic signal to improve a dangerous intersection in the city’s Oakland neighborhood.

The New York Post explains how a bike delivery guy who was new to the city followed his Uber GPS to illegally ride the Lincoln tunnel, but still arrived in New Jersey in one piece.

The Washington Post looks at how China is exporting its dockless bikeshare revolution to the world.

A DC bike shop replaces an in-house coffee shop with a gourmet vegetarian taco stand. But no burritos, due to a non-compete clause with a nearby Chipotle.

Virginia police bust a wanted sex offender who’s been on the run for three years after he popped a tire trying to make his getaway by bike.

 

International

Five Vancouver rides to add to your bike bucket list.

A Canadian man was egged as he was riding his bike, the second time in two years he’s had food thrown at him.

You know you’ve got a problem when the roads are too dangerous for a former world and Olympic champion cyclist; Britain’s Chris Boardman says he won’t ride on the country’s streets, preferring to only ride offroad.

Apparently, even walking your bike home under the influence is against the law in the UK.

An Irish bike commuter says he’s acutely aware of the dangers of his 20 mile ride each way to and from work.

 

Finally…

When Lance Armstrong gives you a bike, you need to “lock your shit up” — especially if you’re the sheriff. Now you can have junk in your trunk on your next bike ride.

And as long as you’re riding behind the Google Maps car, you might as well bust a move.

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Unless there’s breaking news, we’ll be taking the holiday weekend off. (And you can sign up for email alerts over there on the right column to make sure you don’t miss anything, just in case.)

Get out there and ride, but be careful in the heat; if possible, limit your riding to the cooler hours of the day, and drink more than you think you need.

And that remember three-day weekends and the start of college football season bring more drunks out on the roads. So ride defensively and watch out for careless and distracted drivers, because they’re not watching out for you.

We’ll see you back bright and early on Tuesday.

 

Morning Links: Strange news — bear spraying road raging driver, and club-wielding driver isn’t what he seems

It’s been a strange weekend for bike news

Take the bizarre story of a Wyoming bicyclist who used bear spray to take down a road raging driver.

According the Jackson Hole News & Guide, a drunk driver rear-ended another car. Then instead of confronting the other driver, he stumbled to a bike path and mistakenly threatened the bike rider, who responded by pulling a gun.

A witness tried to de-escalate the situation by tossing the rider a can of bear spray; when the driver came at him again, he used it.

First responders had to cut off all the driver’s clothes and rush him to the hospital, where he was booked on multiple charges.

Although now that I think about it, there are a lot of bears here in LA…

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Second place goes to the wife of the Canadian driver who was caught on video sitting on a 74-year old bicyclist and beating him with a club, as she insists it wasn’t what it looks like.

At this point, we have no way of knowing how the dispute started.

But unless that club was some sort of Nerf stick, it was exactly what it looks like.

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The California Transportation Commission takes the bronze with their strange questioning of a Calbike representative.

According to Streetsblog, Jared Sanchez of the California Bicycle Coalition was attempting to discuss a recent letter outlining ten principles for transportation justice that should be considered for funding under the state’s new gas tax.

But instead of responding to any of that, all the members of the commission wanted to talk about was Calbike’s stand on a bicycle license fee. Even though no one at the state level had even proposed one, for very good reasons.

And even though anyone can already register their bicycles for free.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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The Vuelta is taking today off for the race’s first rest day; catch up on the ninth stage here.

Former world champ Lizzie Deignan, better known as Lizzie Armistead before her marriage, won the one-day GP de Plouay race in France on Saturday; the top American was Lauren Stephens at seventh.

The American-based Cannondale-Drapac team is in danger of folding after losing a sponsor for next year.

A business website talks with the Irish women’s tandem duo that’s been dominating nearly every race in the paracycling road world cup, in advance of the world championships at the end of this month.

Keep your eyes on this 13-year old women’s racer, who finished second in a Tennessee juniors race, then came back three hours later and won the women’s Cat 4-5 race.

And our own former pro Phil Gaimon answers questions you never dared to ask a pro cyclist.

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Local

Metro bikeshare will officially come to Venice on September 7th. Meanwhile, Pasadena’s new Metro Bike system is already nearly matching the usage of the year-old system in DTLA.

Bighearted Arcadia firefighters bought a new bicycle for a teenager after his was destroyed in a crash; credit Helen’s Cycles in Arcadia for helping, as well.

A Santa Clarita writer calls for Vision Zero in the Santa Clarita Valley, saying current efforts don’t go far enough.

A physician from north of Los Angeles describes how her Pedego ebike has allowed her to commute to work without fear or pain.

A Malibu letter writer says something has to be done to slow drivers and motorcyclists who turn Latigo Canyon into a speedway every weekend, putting residents, dogs and bicycle riders at risk.

Long Beach isn’t just bike-friendly; it’s been named the tenth most walkable city in the US for the second time in a row.

Winning the 1995 Junior National Downhill Mountain Bike Championships, followed by a stint in beach volleyball, helped Long Beach’s Jon Mesko develop the competitiveness he needed to succeed in business.

Long Beachize explains that a new roundabout at 6th and Park is part of the 6th Street bike boulevard. And it’s actually a good thing, even if drivers don’t get it.

 

State

San Diego bicyclists enjoy their one chance all year to ride across the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge.

A Rancho Mirage woman was arrested on suspicion of DUI after injuring two bike riders in a Friday night crash.

A Berkeley bike rider was killed in Guerneville as he stood checking his phone on the shoulder of the roadway; the driver abandoned his blacked-out BMW several miles away.

Stanford will donate $5 million to build a new bicycle and pedestrian overpass or underpass over Caltrain tracks.

 

National

People for Bikes looks at the new generation of bike lane separators that are starting to arrive on the market.

Portland police recover several stolen bicycles when they bust bike chop shop in a homeless camp.

When a Portland man was hit by a car while he was riding his bike to view last week’s eclipse, hospital workers took him outside to view it once they stabilized him.

An Arizona man has been sentenced to ten and a half years behind bars for killing two bicyclists and injuring three others while on meth; a lawsuit against the driver and his former employer settled for $11 million.

No bias here. A Wisconsin paper says cycling becomes more dangerous when cars and cyclists don’t pay attention. Maybe they don’t get that self driving cars aren’t a thing yet.

An Illinois couple open their home to bike tourists as part of the Warm Showers program.

An Ohio man swears off fixing neighborhood kids bikes after unwittingly abetting a teenage crime wave.

A group of stunt-riding kids accompanying a candidate for mayor are ordered out of a Boston Caribbean Carnival Parade mid-route, because parade rules bans bikes, dogs and snakes.

An upstate New York engineer used bicycling to lose weight and beat diabetes.

David Beckham’s college student son is one of us, as the former soccer star rides to pick him up from school in New York.

Louisiana’s West Baton Rouge Parish is putting the final touches on a network of bikeways, including a five-mile bike path on top of the west levee on the Mississippi River.

 

International

A writer for the Guardian says she’s proud to ride an ebike and whiz past outdated macho attitudes to cycling.

Protesters are furious that bicyclists will now be allowed to ride through a 115-year old pedestrian tunnel under the Thames River.

Just a slight overreaction. A British newspaper columnist calls for prison terms for repeat sidewalk cyclists.

No, seriously. Don’t try riding across the third rail on an electrified English rail line.

Ireland’s Road Safety Authority will distribute 80,000 hi-viz vests to school children this year. It’s a sad commentary when you have to dress kids up like glow-in-the-dark clowns just to keep them safe on the way to and from school.

An Aussie bike commuter calls distracted pedestrians the scourge of those who ride.

Seriously? After an Australian woman was assaulted by three men while riding her bike home from work, police tell her she shouldn’t be riding at that time of night.

 

Finally…

When you already have an outstanding warrant, probably not the best idea to carry a replica rifle on your handlebars. There are probably better place to ride your bike than the middle of a busy freeway.

And yes, experts recommend having a flasher on your bike; no, this is not what they had in mind.

 

Weekend Links: Deplorable Gold Line bike locker, distracted beach biking, and a 17-mile non-CicLAvia ciclovía

Del Mar 1What good is a bike room if it’s not clean, not maintained and not secure?

Sean B forwards these photos of the bike locker at the Pasadena Del Mar Metro Station, noting that the floor is filthy, half the racks are broken and one appears to have been sawed through to steal the bike that was presumably in it.

I’m told this isn’t actually part of Metro’s bike locker program, but rather, just a set of racks with walls and a roof, where a sign tells riders to lock up there at your own risk.

Del Mar 2Seriously?

If Metro really wants to encourage people to use their own bikes to solve the first mile/last mile problem, they’ve got to do a lot better than this.

Deplorable conditions like this only serve to encourage bike thieves, making it clear that no one is paying attention and they aren’t likely to be interrupted.

Del Mar 3Sean also notes that he’s tried contacting Metro about these conditions on numerous occasions, with no luck.

Let’s hope someone there sees this and makes fixing this room a priority. Or better yet, does whatever it takes to replace it with a secure bike locker.

Because bike riders deserve a hell of a lot better than this.

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Clearly, distracted drivers aren’t the only ones we have to worry about.

Thanks to David Wolfberg and Tony K. for the heads-up.

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Now that’s what I call a ciclovía — seventeen miles through seven San Gabriel cities.

626 Golden Streets

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Maybe the solution to hit-and-run is more cars that turn their drivers in. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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Pro cyclist Peter Sagan and wife light up the holidays in this Euro commercial, no translation necessary.

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Local

Richard Risemberg says the new bus and bike only lanes on Wilshire Blvd seem to have increased ridership, though dangerous gaps remain on the Westside thanks to wealthy, short-sighted residents.

Boyonabike says driverless cars aren’t the answer; transit and walkable, bikeable communities are.

Santa Monica approves a pilot program to place three parklets on Main Street.

A Santa Monica letter writer says public officials have a duty to cater to car users, who apparently have a God-given right to free parking.

Bike SGV offers an analysis of the new Duarte draft bike plan.

 

State

A mountain biker was rescued after getting lost in Beaumont; she called a friend to say she was cold, exhausted and thought she was going to die.

Be careful riding in Napa, which now officially the most inebriated city in California.

 

National

A Honolulu man faces up to 15 years for killing a bike rider while high on meth.

Caught on video: A Portland thief shows how easy it is to snatch a bike off the front of a bus. Always lock or disable your bike in some way before you put it on a bus rack to discourage potential thieves.

A bighearted Washington cop buys a stolen tandem from a homeless man, and fixes it up before returning it to its owners, who met while riding bikes 66 years earlier.

Not surprisingly, a Flagstaff crackdown on scofflaw cyclists does nothing to improve safety.

A Denver driver gets six years in a halfway house for seriously injuring a bike cop after lying about having a seizure-inducing medical condition. Although you have to wonder how long that sentence would be if his victim hadn’t been a cop.

Austin TX considers removing a bike lane to provide more parking, while local residents fight to keep it. Meanwhile, police in Austin bust a bike thief responsible for stealing 97 bikes, valued up to $12,000.

After an Ohio cyclist is rear-ended, he gets yelled at by the driver and lectured by a cop for riding in the traffic lane. Until he points out the sharrows he was riding on.

A Maine writer offers seven ways to improve bicycling in the state, most of which would make sense anywhere. Let’s face it, there are very few politicians I’d want to see naked, on a bike or otherwise. Even if the idea of voting for someone who has nothing to hide is appealing.

Turns out it’s legal for a woman to ride a bike topless in Philadelphia, even if it is a challenge to get the local police on board.

 

International

This is how you get more women on bikes. After Calgary builds out an entire network of protected bike lanes seemingly overnight, the percentage of female riders jumps.

A Toronto woman has started a petition to require cyclists to be licensed, even though the city has rejected that four times in the last 30 years. Although riders may not have to worry too much; the petition had just 15 supporters so far.

Brit pro cyclist Bradley Wiggins was bullied growing up and called a gay slur for having the audacity to wear spandex in public.

If your headphones are so loud you can’t even hear a London train coming, maybe you should turn them down a little. And don’t ride around the damn crossing barriers.

London police are treating an apparent road rage hit-and-run as attempted murder; the same driver who ran down a cyclist may have tried to crash into a cop who responded to the incident.

A Glasgow taxi driver suffered a broken nose and cheekbone when he was punched by a bike rider, after the rider had fought with the cab’s passenger. Violence is never the answer, no matter how angry you are or how much you think they deserve it. It only makes a bad situation worse.

A trio of British cyclists riding a single bike made for three survive a collision on US Route 66 when the sun gets in a driver’s eye; needless to say, he wasn’t charged.

Probably not the best idea to punch a Dubai cop for trying to stop a cyclist from riding on a jogging path.

A pair of apparent German tourists came to the aid of a Kiwi bike rider when she was assaulted by a man who punched her several times before throwing her to the ground.

 

Finally…

Help keep the Corgi in kibble this holiday season.

Help keep the Corgi in kibble this holiday season.

If you’re riding a bike while carrying burglary tools and stolen car radios, put a light on it already — and stay off the damn sidewalk. We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to dodge invisible turkeys.

And hopefully, we don’t have to deal with drivers who kill bike riders while getting a blowjob behind the wheel.

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Thanks to Erik Griswold for contributing to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

An ancient Norse tradition I just made up says giving to an underfunded bike website ensures the wind will always be at your back in the coming year, and your tires will be impervious to thorns.

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.

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