Tag Archive for stupid insurance company tricks

Morning Links: UCLA cyclist screwed by insurance company needs your help; team track cycling league comes to LA

If you’ve got a few extra dollars lying around looking for a good cause, here it is.

A UCLA grad student and member of the school’s triathlon team has established a gofundme account to raise enough money to repay her mother for legal expenses after being sued by the driver that hit her.

That’s right. She was run down from behind while riding her bike, yet she’s being sued for damaging the car that smashed into her.

On Sunday April 6, 2014 while I was riding on my road bike from work, I was rear-ended by a speeding car with such force that the car’s front bumper was damaged. It is almost two years since the collision and I am still in great debt from the medical bills, property damage and lawyer fees.

Instead of paying for my medical bills, the driver’s auto insurance company had sent me four consecutive letters and invoices claiming thousands of dollars of damages and threatening to sue me for the broken front bumper. First, the company claimed that I backed into the car, although I was on a road bike that does not go backwards. Then, they accused me of smashing into the car from the side – even though my bike was run over by both the front and back wheels of the car. In fact, my bike was still underneath the back tire of the car when the ambulance and police arrived.

Sounds like the same insurance company that represented the road raging driver that ran me down several years ago. Or maybe they’re all like that.

And that’s the Catch-22.

Bike riders often need a good lawyer after a collision, but unless there are significant damages, most lawyers can’t afford to take the case. So there’s no one to hold the insurance companies accountable for their outrageous behavior.

And it’s the people on bikes end up getting screwed.

Thanks to Alex de Cordoba for the heads-up.

………

Break out your cow bells.

A new team track cycling league will hold its inaugural races at Carson’s Velo Center on the 18th and 19th. The World Cycling League will host six mixed-gender teams with a hometown format; our local heroes will be known as the California Wave.

………

Local

The Times says candidates to replace termed out County Supervisor Michael Antonovich were asked questions about “bike trails in Santa Clarita that taper off when they cross into the surrounding unincorporated county area” at a candidate forum. But then fails to mention how any of them responded.

Richard Risemberg notes that humanity, and in particular, humanity on bicycles, has returned to DTLA.

CiclaValley discusses what Strava heat maps reveal about cycling in the City of Angels.

Even if you missed Sunday’s CicLAvia, there’s still a long list of open streets events coming up in the coming months.

You’re invited to the official unveiling of Long Beach’s bikeshare program at 10 am today; the first ten stations and 100 bikes will be available to try out during the city’s Beach Streets Downtown ciclovía on the 19th.

 

State

A tiny park in Orange was originally built as a rest stop for cyclists riding on a pair of long gone bike lanes. Which pretty much sums up the state of bicycling for the past several decades; hopefully that’s changing now.

Nothing like mischaracterizing the story. San Diego Magazine positions the city’s new bike plan as nine miles of bike lanes versus the loss of 500 parking spaces. Then explains that as few as 233 on-street parking spaces might be removed, and those will be mitigated by the addition of 200 underground parking spaces. So it’s really bike lanes versus no big deal.

San Francisco cyclists are forced to ride in a center lane in front of car traffic because of a local law banning bikes from the city’s expanding network of transit-only lanes.

Plans to complete a nine-figure bikeway across San Francisco’s 80-year old Bay Bridge include an elevator to allow disabled riders — and anyone who doesn’t want to accept the challenge of a long, steep ride up the ramp — to access the bridge. Meanwhile, plans to improve bike access to the other side of the Bay Bridge could fall victim to falling gas tax revenue.

 

National

New graphene-infused bicycle tires are more resilient than standard rubber tires, while remaining firm on straightaways for lower rolling resistance, yet softening while braking or cornering for added traction.

Why settle for a dumb bell when you can have a new 95-decibel smart bike bell with built-in microphone, and accelerometer to alert you if it’s being moved without your knowledge?

Singletrack Magazine disavows its own article offering ten reasons why a fat bike should be your only bike.

Modern entrepreneurs often talk about blowing up existing business models; blowing up an actual Seattle bike shop, not so much.

Police in my hometown have located the thoughtful driver who got out of his car to move a cyclist’s bike and backpack over to the curb, but left the victim he’d just run over lying in the street with long list of broken bones. Yet oddly, they still haven’t made an arrest.

So much for political promises. Missouri cyclists plan to circle the capital building next month to protest the ridiculous proposal to require cyclists to attach a 15-foot high fluorescent flag to their bikes; the bill’s author promised to withdraw it weeks ago, but hasn’t kept his word.

As if drunk drivers weren’t bad enough, a Wisconsin bike rider was the victim of a speeding, drunk bicyclist.

 

International

The bike-riding mayor of Victoria, British Columbia wants to make bicycling the norm in the city.

Tragically, a London woman has died after being struck by a bicyclist. Which is just another reminder to always ride safely around pedestrians; they’re the only people more vulnerable on the streets than we are, and even more unpredictable.

London parents say the city’s streets are too dangerous for children to ride their bikes.

British women hold a Suffragette Ride and Tea Party to call attention to the continuing gender imbalance in bicycling; male riders outnumber women three to one in the UK.

Norway’s plan to build ten bicycle superhighways at a cost of nearly $1 billion will be funded by the country’s oil revenue. Now that’s putting it to good use.

The third stage of the Paris-Nice cycling classic was cancelled mid-race due to snow; riders complained about the lack of a plan B.

Plug-in e-bikes are just so old school. A new Dutch model uses solar power to recharge while you ride.

German discount retailer Aldi is starting to carry bike equipment, just in time for its planned expansion into Southern California.

The bikelash rears its ugly head in New Zealand, as community members rise up against a bike lane that isn’t even finished yet.

 

Finally…

If you’re riding your bike while high, put a light on it — and don’t attack the cop who tries to stop you because you don’t have one. If you’ve ever wanted to own a Penny Farthing for pennies on the dollar, here’s your chance.

And I henceforth and for all time claim authorship of the term “areobam.”

 

Weekend Links: Support bicycling on your neighborhood council, stupid insurance tricks, and more bike events

There’s one sure way to make a difference on our streets.

Run for your neighborhood council.

LA’s neighborhood councils are where decisions are made on whether or not to support bike lanes, road diets and other bike-friendly improvements and livability issues. And they can have a big influence on elected officials, who are reluctant to do the right thing without public support behind them.

Yet while some councils get it, others are too often dominated by auto-centric nay-sayers who find it easier to just say no than to take the time to understand how bikeways can provide an alternative to driving and improve safety and livability for everyone.

You could change that by signing up to give a voice for bicyclists right where you live, work or study, as online registration is open now for 35 of the city’s 96 councils.

Naturally, mine is not among them. Nor is the Westwood council, which desperately needs some help.

Those you still have to register for the old fashioned way.

………

LA Bicycle Advisory Committee member Jonathan Weiss forwards news of a lawsuit that really should have been settled out of court.

According to a notice in the LA Daily Journal, a cyclist asked for $25,000 in damages after he was injured in a right hook while riding on Ocean Ave in Santa Monica; the insurance company countered with an offer of just $6,300, before doubling that to $13,000 just before trial.

The jury, on the other hand, awarded the cyclist over $78,000 — over three times what the rider was asking for — after a three day trial.

That’s what the insurance company gets for being cheap.

And that’s a good example of why you need to talk to a good lawyer if you get hurt while riding.

………

Even after last week’s massive listing of bike events, there are still more coming up in the next few weeks.

Streetsblog looks at the coming Great Streets Challenge Grant Events for February and March, starting today in Reseda.

CiclaValley reminds us he’s leading the LACBC’S Sunday Funday CicLAvia Preview Ride through the Valley tomorrow.

The LA Planning Commission considers amendments to remove bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the recently approved Mobility Plan this Thursday; if you can’t be there, email your support for keeping the plan intact.

Santa Monica hosts a Valentines Day Kidical Mass Ride on the 13th.

A free screening of the acclaimed documentary Bikes vs Cars will be held at Debs Park in Northeast LA on the 17th; you can see a trailer for the film here. Thanks to Alice Strong and Harv for the heads-up.

On the 20th, Culver City Biking Buddies invites you to join in on the Family Ride: The Sustainability Tour.

There will be a Lunar New Year Bike Train celebrating the Tet Festival in El Monte on the 21st.

BikeSGV will Bike the Gold Line in celebration of the opening of the Gold Line extension on March 27th.

BikeSD is hosting a 20-mile Bikes & Beers SD ride through the streets of San Diego on March 26th.

And start training now for the eighth annual Pablove Across America ride from San Francisco’s East Bay to LA to raise funds to fight childhood cancer; October 2nd through 8th.

………

The LA Times says BMX legend Dave Mirra was the “reason little kids tried to create separation between a tire and the ground” while riding their bikes, as athletes and celebrities respond to his death.

Bicycling notes Mirra won the 2014 RAAM team competition with former pro Dave Zabriskie and two other riders, while gossip blogger Perez Hilton is unusually kind in posting a statement from Mirra’s wife.

………

The chips keep falling in pro cycling, as Russian cyclist Eduard Vorganov becomes the latest rider to be banned for doping; his Katusha team could face sanctions since he’s the second rider from the team to be banned in the past year.

A medical website says bike racing is rapidly reaching the point of no repair when it comes to doping and other forms of cheating, and asks where’s the outrage within the sport? Meanwhile, a writer for the Guardian says don’t judge the beautiful, brutal sport of cyclocross based on the motor doping scandal.

Cycling Weekly says motor doping comes out of the Wile E. Coyote section of the cycling rule book, along with painting tunnels on brick walls and dropping anvils on your competition.

And America’s only remaining Tour de France winner offers a six-point plan to eradicate motor doping. Which will undoubtedly be ignored by those in charge, just like his warnings about doping were.

………

Local

Don’t count on the LA River bike path through Silverlake and Atwater Village reopening anytime soon.

KPCC says not so fast on that report that LA is the most dangerous place in the US for pedestrians; the county ranks just 10th when ranked on a per capita basis. On the other hand, 10th may suck a little less, but it still sucks.

The Santa Monica Bike Center is looking for experienced part time tour guides. Or you could be an organizing rep for the Sierra Club, or maybe manage the new PUBLIC Bikes store in SaMo.

Support is growing for a bike ferry linking the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path across the Marina del Rey inlet.

Family and friends remember Long Beach bike courier Daniel Nguyen, who fell to his death while rescuing a fellow hiker on Mt. Baldy this week.

Long Beach’s Pacific Avenue bike corridor is being extended into Los Cerritos.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Agency recommends riding the San Diego Creek Trail, calling it an inviting escape from the urban environment.

San Diego moves to improve safety on a one-mile stretch of one of the city’s most dangerous streets; as usual, local residents prefer keeping their parking to saving lives.

Three young Fresno-area men were shot while riding their bikes; fortunately, only one was seriously injured.

A Modesto bike rider suffered life threatening injuries when he was struck by a big rig truck.

Good news from Berkeley, as a research scientist who was critically injured in a collision while riding her bike is expected to pull through. The driver, an actor who lists cycling as a skill on his resume, has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs.

 

National

City Lab says it’s time to put sharrows to rest, and maybe get rid of centerlines while we’re at it.

Six-foot ten-inch Denver Nuggets basketball star Danilo Gallinari is one of us.

Bicycling looks at the unofficial Fat Bike World Championships in Crested Butte CO.

A Kentucky man has been charged with murder for running down a teenage bike rider while under the influence. Evidently, they take traffic crime seriously there.

Residents of New York’s Upper East Side rise up against plans to install painted bike lanes on six streets to calm traffic, even though they wouldn’t remove any parking or traffic lanes.

They take traffic crimes seriously in Florida, too, as a driver gets 12 years for the DUI death of a cyclist.

 

International

I want one. A British man has developed a $37 DIY device to measure how close cars come when they pass you. Maybe we can combine it with a sign to show their score as they zoom by.

The company behind that solar power-generating bike path in the Netherlands will apply the technology to 600 miles of French roadways.

Maybe you want to spend your next vacation sampling the local cuisine on a bike tour of Macedonia. Or discovering why cycling in the Middle East is so attractive.

 

Finally…

Memorize this list for the next time you need a good excuse for failing your urine test; then again, none of them worked, so maybe not. We can all be grateful for bike commuters, especially if they’re riding to make beer every morning.

And this may be the greenest Super Bowl ever, but don’t try to bike there.

 

%d bloggers like this: