Tag Archive for the war on bikes

Morning Links: Killer road rage driver cops plea for up to 12 years, and the war on bikes goes on. And on…

Maybe they’ll get it right this time.

In a case that horrified LA’s cycling community, a Los Angeles man could spend the next 12 years behind bars for the 2015 road rage murder of a man on a bike following an argument near USC.

According to KTLA-5, 33-year old Andrew Williams pled no contest on Friday to felony voluntary manslaughter and felony hit-and-run driving resulting in death for intentionally running down 35-year old Ruben Wharton Vanegas.

The District Attorney’s office finally explained what happened in a case where very few details were released at the time.

On Oct. 15, 2015, Williams was driving his SUV in the 3900 block of South Vermont Avenue when he came across Ruben Wharton Vanegas, 35, who was on a bicycle, the prosecutor said.

The two men got into an argument over the cyclist being on the road and after exchanging words, Vanegas hit the defendant’s side view mirror and rode in front of the vehicle, according to court testimony. Williams then ran over the victim and dragged him for about 50 feet, the prosecutor added. Vanegas died at the scene.

Sentencing will take place on the 20th of this month.

Too many killer drivers get off with little or no significant jail time in LA County. Let’s hope that changes in a case where the driver clearly murdered his victim.

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The war cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A Northern Irish bike rider was lucky to walk away after someone sabotaged a Belfast bikeshare bike by loosening the lug holding the front wheel in place.

A nine-year old Aussie boy was nearly decapitated when someone strung a rope across a pathway at neck level.

Horrifying story from Australia, where a driver deliberately mowed down a man on his bike, and shouted at him to get out of the road before driving away and critically injuring a pedestrian in a second crash. He later told police saying he only intended to knock the man off his bike, not hurt him, while claiming the pedestrian he hit was the devil.

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Thanks to Tim Rutt for forwarding this really cool collection of antique bicycle headbadges.

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The seven-stage Critérium du Dauphiné opened Sunday, serving largely as a tune-up for next month’s Tour de France; Napa’s Andrew Talansky will lead the Cannondale-Drapac team, while Alberto Contador has a new bike for the race.

The Vail CO paper talks with cyclocross legend Katie Compton, in town to give mountain biking a try.

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Local

LA’s Vision Zero is focusing on high rate of crashes in South LA. Nice to see city officials have finally ventured into the undiscovered country south of the 10 Freeway.

Los Angeles has opened the latest segment of the LA River Greenway Trail in Studio City, forming a four-mile trail along the river.

KPCC previews yesterday’s River Ride benefitting the LACBC; the Daily News says over 2,000 riders participated.

Bicycling profiles Silver Lake new and used bicycle emporium Coco’s Variety, which started as a variety shop before bicycles sales and studio rentals took over.

A writer for UCLA’s Daily Bruin says teach students about bike regulations before they get a ticket, not after.

LA Bike Dad rides with the kids to a free art class at the Barnsdall Art Park — and his four-year old rides the two mile distance on his own bike.

Pasadena could see another 400 bikes on the streets when Metro Bike comes to town on Bastille Day.

A 13-year old South Carolina boy set off from Santa Monica Saturday on a 3,000 mile bike trip across the US; before he even set off, he’d raised $300,000 in donations for clean water and hopes to raise half a million by the time he gets back home. At his age, I was happy just to ride to band practice.

 

State

Orange County will conduct a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operation tomorrow. You know the drill; ride to the letter of the law so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

Coronado adds bicycle maintenance stations along the city’s Bayshore Bikeway.

Caught on video: A security camera captures a man burglarizing an El Cajon bike shop after shooting out a window.

Bixby, the dog who’s spent the last several years riding across country to promote pet adoption, will be staying in San Luis Obispo for the next few weeks after having emergency surgery.

A trans woman in San Francisco used a settlement she received after getting hit by a car while riding her bike to go from homeless to starting two successful businesses, including a bike shop.

Around 2,200 AIDS/LifeCycle riders left San Francisco yesterday for a 545-mile along the coast to Los Angeles; the riders have already raised $15.1 million for the fight against HIV.

 

National

A Las Vegas bike shop owner is riding across the state to campaign for the Republican nomination for governor of Nevada. More proof that traveling on two wheels does not automatically make you a liberal.

As bike sales slump, Boulder CO bike shop employees are being trained not to be jerks.

A Wisconsin man shares what he’s learned after vowing to run or bike through all 72 of the state’s counties.

Chicago Streetsblog sets out on a Black Power Ride through the city’s South Side.

The Akron, Ohio paper remembers a hospital administrator who endured stares riding his bike to work in the 1950s and 60s.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 84-year old upstate New York man still rides 30 or more miles three times a week.

A curmudgeonly New York columnist follows-up on his video rant insisting bike riders suck by taking offense that anyone would take offense at what he now says was a tongue-in-cheek comment. Because really, who doesn’t bust up laughing when someone says you suck?

Caught on video: A group of North Carolina cyclists can thank a bad driver for making the right choice, pulling onto the grass next to the left shoulder after getting caught in a bad pass, rather than pulling back into the soft and squishy people on bikes as so many other drivers have done. A local TV station asks why so many drivers lose their minds around cyclists. Good question.

The Charlotte Observer talks with NASCAR champ Dale Earnhardt Jr about his newfound love of bicycling. Even if he does refuse to wear spandex on the track.

 

International

Mexico City is the latest major city to have a bike mayor.

A Canadian man ties a pool noodle to the back of his bike to show the legal one-meter safe passing distance — the equivalent of a three-foot passing law — and gets hit anyway.

Toronto finally installs barriers separating a bikeway from a major roadway after a five-year old boy was killed after falling in front of traffic. Yes, this is the way Vision Zero is supposed to work, but why do authorities always seem to wait until it’s too late to fix problems they already know about?

English police told a former cycling champ to go away when he tried to report a dangerous near-miss by a driver.

The Telegraph says middle aged men are trading in their roadie Lycra for mountain bike baggies.

A bike-born British acting troupe has traveled over 6,000 miles performing Shakespeare across the UK.

A Philadelphia writer goes walking amid the bikes of Copenhagen.

A new report finds drivers are at fault in most crashes with bike riders in Adelaide, Australia.

 

Finally…

If you build it, they won’t come if the bike lane is only 27 inches wide. If you’re going to ride home drunk, put a damn light on your bike and try to hold your line.

And you no longer have to struggle to carry your bicycles on your private helicopter.

 

Morning Links: Eight teenage riders killed in horrifying Malaysian tragedy, and the war on bike riders continues

Heartbreaking news from the other side of the world, where eight Malaysian teenagers participating in a late night bike ride were killed and eight injured, two critically, when a 22-year old driver plowed into them, claiming she just couldn’t stop in time.

However, one of the survivors said they were stopped at the side of the road at the time of the crash, and that the driver had been speeding and using her mobile phone. Despite that, she was out on bail within hours of the crash, while police threated action against the victim’s parents.

The Malaysian National Cycling Federation said it was up to parents to ensure their kids ride safely, while other voices condemned the parents for allowing their children to be out on the streets at 3 am.

The prime minister expressed his condolences, while a member of parliament urged past and present leaders not to politicize the tragedy. The state education department promised to look into the group of riders like the one involved in the crash, but a government minister said they’d known about the problem for ten years, but hadn’t come up with a solution to the late night rides.

The state government will give the equivalent of $225 to the families of the eight injured riders.

Meanwhile, an editorial calls on the government not to stifle the creativity of students who modify their bikes to express their individuality, and accommodate them by closing certain roads late at night to give them a safe place to ride.

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The war on cars may be mythical, but the war on bike riders goes on.

San Jose police are investigating a pair of blow gun attacks, including one man who was struck as he was riding his bike.

Someone stretched plastic wrap across an Omaha NE trail in an apparent attempt to injure bike riders.

A British rider was pushed off his bike by a car passenger and beaten with a bat.

A British man was fined the equivalent of just $261 for punching a bike rider in the face after the rider pulled out in front of his girlfriend’s car.

A group Britain’s top riders say they were attacked by a driver they recognized as the co-owner of a Taiwanese wheelmaker, who allegedly brake checked one rider and deliberately swerved into the group of riders two times, striking one man.

Two South African cyclists believe they were deliberately targeted by a driver who crashed into them, then may have hit a third rider just a few minutes later.

A 74-year old Australian man was shot six times while riding on bike trail; he survived the shooting in serious, but stable condition.

But no, really, let’s talk about how bike lanes take away a few parking spaces.

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Retired Luxemburg pro Andy Schleck ties the knot, walking out with his new wife under a canopy of handheld bike wheels; Schleck backed into the 2010 Tour de France title when Alberto Contador was stripped of his win for doping.

Speaking of doping, legal or otherwise, former Team Sky pro Michael Barry discusses what he calls the team’s unethical use of the painkiller Tramadol.

Britain’s Cyclist Magazine looks at the 12 toughest men in cycling history, including America’s first Giro winner, Andy Hampsten. Except they left off Greg LeMond, who twice won the Tour de France with a body full of buckshot.

Pro cyclists are complaining that competitors are drafting behind race motorcycles.

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Local

A photo blogger reports on last week’s CD1 debate, which did not appear to go well for anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo.

CiclaValley reports there’s an open house this Wednesday for the Lankershim Great Street. This is your chance to correct the mistakes made when former Councilmember Tom LaBonge killed the bike lanes planned for the street, in an apparent attempt to keep it dangerous for everyone.

The Bikerowave bike co-op is hosting a movie night this Friday, showing Adaptation.

There’s just one week left to nominate someone for the LACBC’s Diversity Program for this year’s Climate Ride.

Speaking of the LACBC, they’re hosting a feeder ride to the San Gabriel Valley’s 626 Golden Streets open streets event on March 5th.

The Irwindale Lions Club is hosting a 75-mile Rooting for Kids Along Route 66 fundraising ride on March 11th.

Santa Clarita wants to know if you want a bikeshare system in the city. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

 

State

North San Diego County cities are working to make PCH safer and more welcoming for people on bikes, despite the inevitable auto-centric bikelash.

In an effort to cut traffic, Moreno Valley is buying ebikes for city employees to use for short errands instead of driving.

Exploring Ventura’s waterfront by bike.

A Fresno letter writer tells bike riders to stay in the city and keep off foothill roads with no bike lanes. Apparently local motorists are incapable of slowing down and driving safely on winding roads.

The battle over bike access in Marin County goes on, as the executive director of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition says mountain biking is here to stay, and saying no to every potential legal trail just won’t work any more.

A Sacramento bike rider is expected to survive after riding in front of a light rail train. Yet another reminder to always wait until the lights stop flashing before attempting to cross the tracks.

 

National

A writer for City Lab says the best thing about commuting by bike is the chance to go full caveman by screaming at offending drivers and righteously riding away. Um, no. Let’s hope this was intended as satire.

A heartless jerk faces a felony hit-and-run count for hitting a teenage bike rider in Las Vegas, then driving for two and a half miles with the bicycle still stuck under his truck before tossing it into a trash bin.

A Denver website looks back at the successful efforts of a local bike club to bring the national championships to town. In 1894.

A Texas writer discusses what it takes to ride 200 miles without stopping as he prepares for a RAAM qualifier.

A Minnesota man upcycles old bicycles by turning parts in jewelry and art.

The bicycle belonging to the late bike-riding fashion photographer Bill Cunningham has been donated to a New York historical society, along with his books and other items.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A North Carolina man killed a woman riding her bike, despite having his license permanently revoked ten years earlier. Clearly, taking away a license — even permanently — isn’t enough; we’ve got to find a way to keep the most dangerous drivers out of their cars and off the streets before they kill someone.

 

International

London’s new bike czar insists the city is safe for cyclists, allowing his own children to ride on the streets.

A new study from the UK shows that the earlier you teach your kids to ride a bike, the more likely they are to keep riding.

A unlicensed British driver gets five years for killing a 71-year old bicyclist while high on crack and fleeing from police.

Caught on video: UK readers blame a cyclist for slamming into a trailer when the driver cut him off, because he wasn’t riding in the bike lane that was blocked by parked cars. And never mind that the driver didn’t bother to stop.

Brit riders compete in the annual Penny Farthing championships.

A moving story from Liberia, where a 12-year old boy wants a bicycle. But first he had to get a new leg to replace the one he lost when he was shot as a baby.

South African police offer good advice for riders everywhere — keep an eye on your bike if you stop for something to eat or drink after your ride.

A former Kiwi criminal is helping young gang members turn their lives around by taking up mountain bike racing.

A Japanese teenager faces charges for taking a stolen bicycle on a 560-mile joy ride.

Better news from Malaysia, where one city is setting up a free bikeshare program; bikes can be checked out for 24 hours using a card issued by city hall.

 

Finally…

If you don’t want to get hit by a driver while riding your bike, don’t steal his truck. Sometimes it takes Mother Nature to build a protected bike lane.

And who says you can’t carry heavy things on a bike? Like an 82 pound stolen safe, for instance.

 

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