Tag Archive for the war on bikes

Morning Links: US cycling legend Rebecca Twigg homeless in Seattle, hero bike rider, and the war on bikes

Back in ’80s, I was in love with Rebecca Twigg.

Then again, so was just about other every straight male who knew a derailleur from domestique.

She won my heart, and so many others, when she claimed the ’83 Coors Classic stage race, followed by a silver medal in the road race at the ’84 Olympics, finishing second to her American teammate Connie Carpenter.

And followed that with a pursuit bronze medal in ’92.

Along with six world track titles and 16 US championships before, after and in between.

She was brilliant, charming and beautiful. And could drop you like freshman English without breaking a sweat.

So it broke my heart to learn that Rebecca Twigg has spent nearly five years living on the streets of Seattle.

According to the Seattle Times,

Twigg, 56, agreed to share her story to convince the public that not all homeless people are addicted to drugs or alcohol; that there are many like her, who have struggled with employment and are “confused,” as she said she is, about what to do next with their lives. She did not want to discuss mental health but feels it should be treated more seriously in Washington.

“Some of the hard days are really painful when you’re training for racing,” Twigg said, “but being homeless, when you have little hope or knowledge of where the finish line is going to be, is just as hard.”

She ended up homeless after two failed marriages, and struggling to fit into a workplace where she felt she just didn’t belong.

It was a familiar position, after her mother had kicked her out at 14, and she settled into the nomadic life of a bike racer.

Sadly, it’s not unusual for athletes to struggle after retiring, having spent a lifetime training and competing in a highly structured world.

And the article hints at another possible reason, mentioning a Texas crash that resulted in 13 stitches to her head — and probably a concussion.

Likely not the first one either. Or the last, in those pre-helmet, leather hairnet days.

But the saddest part of all is that Rebecca Twigg been forgotten by the cycling world she sacrificed her youth for.

And allowed to fall through the cracks, and onto the streets.

Let’s hope this news wakes up women’s cycling and bike racing’s governing bodies. So that someone, somewhere gives her the hand up she needs to get her life back together, and off the streets, once and for all.

And gives her the job she deserves in the sport she used to love, and knows so well.

Photo from Wikipedia.

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Once again, a bike rider was the hero.

An Anaheim man went on a wild crime rampage in Lake Forest on Wednesday, breaking into a home, stabbing a woman multiple times, jacking her car, crashing it into another woman walking on the sidewalk, threatening some Good Samaritans, and trying to jack a couple more cars.

All in just nine minutes.

It all came to a burning end when 56-year old bike rider Eric Young pepper sprayed the man after nearly getting run down by him and witnessing the crime spree.

After four or five doses of pepper spray, the one-man crime wave sat down on the curb and waited for police to take him into custody.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps going on.

A British bike rider was bloodied and suffered a badly broken nose after he was knocked off his bike by a speeding driver, then punched repeatedly by a passenger in her car.

Then again, people on bikes aren’t always the good guys. A New York woman was punched in the face by a man on a bike, who shouted “This is my bock, bitch!” before riding off. Shockingly, the NYPD didn’t seem to care, despite their usual policy of siding with anyone against people on bicycles.

And Boston police are looking for a bike-riding man who shattered a bus window with his fist in an attempt to get the driver to open the door. Because terrorizing bus drivers and their passengers is always the best way to get them to let you in.

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A word for the wise, as demonstrated by a dirt biker.

Always make sure there’s solid ground directly in front of you. Because bikes, motorized or otherwise, still can’t fly.

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Local

No shit. County officials consider removing mobile shooting ranges from the sheriff’s station in Marina del Rey, after a suggestion that having a shooting range in close proximity to one of the county’s most popular bike paths may not be the best idea.

State

No, Outside, it’s not the perfect Highway 1 road trip along the California coast unless you do it on two wheels.

Caltrain goes the wrong way on accommodating bike riders.

The man who stole a $5,000 bicycle from Costa Mesa’s Cyclist bike shop returned it because his face had been plastered everywhere, and he was hoping to get the $1,000 reward.

In a bizarre ruling, a California appeals court barred the unacknowledged daughter of fallen OC cyclist Amine Britel from suing the woman who killed him, ruling she didn’t have standing because she wasn’t a legal heir since she didn’t establish paternity until after he died. And didn’t suffer a loss because she never knew him anyway. Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling for the heads-up.

Bakersfield wants your input on how to improve bicycling and the city’s streets. I’ll go out on a limb here, and guess that removing cars from them is probably a nonstarter.

San Francisco is installing a protected bike lane on one of the city’s most dangerous streets. But only in some sections.

A San Francisco man suffered life-threatening injuries when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike Wednesday morning.

A new study from a UC Davis researcher shows that ped-assist ebikes really do get people out of their cars; up to half of all ebike trips in the study would have otherwise been made by motor vehicle.

National

NACTO says e-scooters have overtaken docked bikeshare as the nation’s third most popular form of shared transportation, behind cars and transit. Although most cars are hardly ever shared.

Lyft can undoubtedly relate to Boeing these days, as their rapid expansion into e-bikeshare has come to a screeching halt due to brake problems. Then again, Lyft hasn’t killed anyone yet, and dealt with the problem once they became aware of it.

No shit part two. A new poll shows Americans think distracted driving is the greatest threat on the roads. Which doesn’t appear to actually stop anyone from doing it.

A teenage boy is a key witness in the case against a Minneapolis cop accused of shooting a woman who had called police to report a possible sexual assault behind her home, although his credibility was questioned after admitting he had smoked weed and downed several shots of whiskey before getting on his bike.

A Rhode Island public radio station says the state’s potholed streets pose a danger to bike riders. Kind of like the streets of Los Angeles, and much of Southern California.

Vision Zero appears to be working in Boston, where the crash rate has gone up, while fatalities were cut in half. People often misunderstand the purpose of Vision Zero, which isn’t to prevent crashes, but to redesign roadways so those crashes don’t kill anyone.

Speaking of Boston, Bicycling looks at that city’s version of LA’s Marathon Crash Ride.

A Delaware man with a rare heart condition embarked on a 5,000-mile bike ride to Alaska in the name of science, even though doctors warned it could kill him.

After a DC resident witnesses a large Critical Mass-type ride roll through her neighborhood, she naturally concludes that all bike riders are a bunch of law-breaking scofflaws who won’t follow the rules, and don’t deserve protected bike lanes.

A New Orleans bike thief is caught on video entering an unlocked gate to steal an unlocked bicycle, then ghost riding the new bike away with his own in tow. But at least he had the courtesy to shut the gate after him.

Taking a page from ghost bikes, a Georgia bike advocate placed a ghost wheelchair at the site where a handicapped man was killed earlier this month.

International

A Vancouver letter writer strains to make the argument that installing bike lanes will lower homeowners’ property values, even though countless studies show the exact opposite.

Life is cheap in Ottawa, Canada, where a driver walked on charges of fleeing the scene after killing a man riding a bike, and covering up the crime by fixing his truck and hiding out at a motel. The judge bought his explanations that he 1) fell asleep while driving, 2) hadn’t been drinking, and 3) fled the scene, hid out from police and destroyed the evidence because he was afraid of racist cops. And no, the judge’s name wasn’t Gullible. But maybe it should be.

An Irish man returned home from an internship in the US to face charges for killing a bike rider in a collision.

Competitive Cycling

About time. A bill under consideration in the California legislature would require bike races and other sporting events to provide equal prize money to men and women.

Bicycling examines the time trial bike Victor Campenaerts used to set a new hour record in Mexico this week.

The apparent leader in a women’s race is nearly taken down by a race moto. And appears to respond the same way anyone else would.

Finally…

How to not smash your bike to bits when you use a rooftop rack. When you’re afraid to ride the local bike path because of all the drivers using it.

And if an ebike can stabilize itself to prevent falls, does it really need you at all?

Morning Links: Bike the Vote LA endorses in CD12, Watch for Me in NC, and the war on bikes keeps going on

It’s a light news day, after today’s bike news apparently got crowded out by the tragic burning of Notre Dame Cathedral.

The good news is, however, until John Snow learns to ride a bicycle, or Cersei starts driving, this will continue to remain a Game of Thrones spoiler-free zone.

And before we move on, I hope you’ll join me in thanking Josh Cohen and Cohen Law Partners for renewing their sponsorship of this site for a sixth consecutive year.

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Bike the Vote LA has released their endorsements for the special council election in LA’s 12th Council District.

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A new public service campaign tells North Carolina drivers to “Watch for Me” to reduce bike and pedestrian crashes.

Doesn’t do it for me. But what do you think?

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

A Milwaukee man was severely beaten after flipping off the driver who nearly hit him while he was riding in a bike lane.

My own hard-won advice — never flip off the driver behind you.

For reasons that should be obvious, but for some reason, wasn’t at the time.

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Local

The Long Beach Post wants to know why the city isn’t improving safety on the bridges over the 710, despite the deaths of two people since the first of the year, including a 64-year old woman riding her bicycle.

626 Golden Streets looks forward to nine upcoming open streets events in the LA area. Unfortunately, I’ll have to miss this spring’s events, including the Wilmington CicLAvia at the end of this month, but should be back on my bike in time for the Hollywood/West Hollywood CicLAvia in my own backyard later this year.

State

A Bakersfield letter writer gets as proprietary as any privileged motorist, saying bike trails are for people on bicycles, not people walking or their dogs. Except under California law, any separated pathway without a parallel walkway is considered a multi-use path, regardless of what it’s called.

Bike Magazine looks at some of the new products introduced at last weekend’s Sea Otter Classic in Monterey.

Berkeley police have issued an arrest warrant for a 45-year old driver accused of fleeing the scene after seriously injuring a bike rider in a crash.

Now you can pedal your way across the Oakland Bay. Okay, so it’s an estuary. That doesn’t rhyme.

Stanislaus County bike riders will gather to remember a man who was killed while riding his bike earlier this month; his daughter says the popular rider shouldn’t have been out on his bike that day, after being told to take it easy following a heart procedure.

National

A new survey from the National Safety Council shows that most Americans support lowering speed limits slightly, installing speed and red light cameras, and conducting more sobriety checkpoints. All of which would save lives. And all of which entitled drivers will undoubtedly fight.

Performing intervals twice a week could help you live longer.

A Missouri man got his bike back after spotting it for sale on Craigslist. Except after arranging a sting, the cops got diverted to a domestic disturbance on the way — which just happened to be at the thief’s home, finding the man’s bike inside after the suspect ran away.

Another case of keeping a drunk driver on the streets until its nearly too late, as an alleged drunk driver lost control and just missed a Wisconsin bike rider before slamming into a light pole and running away on foot.

University of Dayton students designed a voice-controlled shifting mechanism for the recumbent belonging to a military vet who lost three limbs in Afghanistan.

After a Louisiana man’s bicycle was stolen while he was working at a restaurant, his kindhearted coworkers raised $300 in just 30 minutes to replace it.

International

CityMetric contributes ten things you should know about ebikes, including that they’re not cheating — and they’re the future.

A local paper says it’s hard to predict the impact of bike lanes versus parking on property values in a Vancouver neighborhood. Even though studies show quality bikeways tend to increase home values.

A British serial bike thief is back behind bars for the next six months after confessing to stealing a bike while already on probation — and while legally prohibited from even touching one.

Speaking of bike theft, an Irish man was lucky to get his bicycle back after spotting it for sale online and contacting the police to set up a sting.

A US Air Force appeals court re-affirmed the conviction of a senior airman sentenced to four years for negligent homicide in the death of a bike rider at Germany’s Ramstein Air Base.

Finally…

Using bikes to paint a portrait of Elvis on the streets of Nashville. Your next bike could have four wheels — but only use two at a time.

And if you’re riding a bike while under the influence and carrying a concealed weapon, put a damn light on it, already.

The bike, not the gun.

And don’t jump into a river trying to get away from the cops.

Morning Links: DUI, murder in H’wood scooter crash; Costa Mesa bike thief busted; and building bike lanes pays

Go ahead and call it murder.

The police are.

According to KTLA-5, a suspected drunk driver is being held on $2 million bail on suspicion of murder and DUI after police watched him hit a e-scooter rider in a Hollywood crosswalk.

The victim was crossing Sunset Blvd at Vine Street at 3:30 Saturday morning when he was struck by a pickup driven by 26-year old Utah resident Jared Walter Anderson.

Anderson then allegedly backed the truck up, and drove over the victim, who was described only as a man in his 30s.

He fled the scene, but was chased down by an LAPD sergeant who had witnessed the crime.

Anderson was previously convicted of DUI in Utah, which makes him eligible for a murder charge under California law.

Then again, murder could be warranted even without the previous conviction, considering that he drove over his victim after hitting him the first time.

Which raises the question of whether the crash may have been intentional.

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Good news on the bike theft front.

The schmuck who stole a $5,000 bicycle from Costa Mesa’s Cyclist bike shop has been arrested after returning the bike at the urging of relatives.

Paul Verdugo Jr, a 42-year old transient, pled not guilty to charges of grand theft, identity theft and receiving stolen property, the latter two for the false ID he handed a shop worker before riding off with the bike while on a test ride.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes keeps picking up speed.

A Maryland woman was charged with first degree assault for making a U-turn after passing a bike rider, then intentionally attempting to run him down, forcing the man to jump off his bike before she crashed into it.

They always tell you to make eye contact with drivers. But fail to mention that the sidewalk-blocking Florida driver you’re trying to get past may get out of his car and punch you repeatedly.

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It pays to build bike lanes.

No, literally.

A new study shows that if Kansas City fully built out its bike plan, local businesses would benefit to the tune of $500 million in increased sales over the next 20 years.

And more importantly, over 700 lives would be saved.

Which makes you wonder just how many lives, and how much money, Los Angeles is needlessly throwing away by leaving its bike plan gathering dust on the shelf.

Like every other LA bike plan that’s come before it.

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Local

Streetsblog says the push for safety improvements is picking up speed in Silver Lake. And not just on Rowena.

Uber and Lyft are holding off on finalizing their permits to put dockless e-scooters and bikeshare on the streets of Los Angeles over concerns about how their usage data will be used.

The Rose Bowl will open its roads for a 3.1-mile mini-ciclovia after next month’s final stage of the Amgen Tour of California, though you may have to register first.

This is who we share the roads with. A man has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for a street racing crash that killed three people in two other vehicles three years ago. Now if we could just see that kind of justice for people on bicycles for a change.

Great news! The fundraiser for the infant son of fallen bicyclist Frederick “Woon” Frazier now sits at nearly $8,000 — just $2,000 short of the $10,000 goal.

State

They get it. San Diego is installing 330 on-street parking corrals for dockless bicycles and e-scooters in the downtown area. Unlike Los Angeles, which prefers to use precious sidewalk space instead of putting them in the street where they belong.

The San Diego Union-Tribune picks up the story of state wildlife officials blocking access to illegal trails in the Carlsbad Highlands Ecological Reserve, and telling miscreant trespassing bike riders to stay the hell out.

Life is cheap in El Cajon, where a red light-running hit-and-run driver is expected to be sentenced to just four years behind bars for a crash that left a nine-year old boy with permanent injuries — despite driving without a license, and with drug paraphernalia in her car.

Sunnyvale is re-evaluating its commitment to bikeshare after Lime left them in the lurch.

Specialized teams up with a Stanford researcher to figure out how bicycling affects your brain. Aside from making you unusually happy, that is.

A Santa Rosa man was busted for DUI after crashing into two bicyclists while allegedly driving stoned —  at 7:30 in the morning, no less; the victims suffered moderate to major injuries.

Sad news from Sacramento, where a bike rider was killed in a crash after allegedly riding through a red light.

National

A writer for the Conversation says crowdfunding money for bicycle infrastructure helps reduce the risk of bikelash. Something tells me Los Angeles bike riders could fully fund the cost of every bike lane and road diet in the mobility plan, and it still wouldn’t satisfy the city’s angry drivers.

Bike Snob writer and self-described avid driver Eben Weiss says sometimes just driving a car is an act of violence, and wonders why drivers can’t see that they’re the worst. I wouldn’t go that far; a lot of good people drive cars. But it does seem to bring out the worst in people.

Uber says riding a bicycle without a helmet is dangerous. But hopes to have us all riding in jet packs in the near future.

Lyft has pulled its ebikes from San Francisco, DC and New York after reports of brake problems on their dockless bikeshare systems, replacing them with regular bikes for the time being.

Bicycling says your next custom-made frame could come out of an Airstream trailer.

She kinda gets it. A Tucson columnist says let’s keep each other alive on the streets, but admits to being distracted behind the wheel.

A San Antonio TX nonprofit paper — not that many papers make a profit these days — calls for a bike advocacy group in the city.

Six years after bicyclists were first allowed on Colorado’s Pikes Peak, the guy who runs the roadway says it’s been a pleasant surprise, and even the drivers have been courteous. Although I’d like to hear that last part from the guys on bikes, thank you.

The Boston Globe says ten years from now, bicyclists in Cambridge MA may take the city’s protected bike lane network for granted, after the city passed a first-in-the-nation ordinance requiring protected lanes in any new roadwork in the bike plan.

An upstate New York letter writer complains about the county tearing up his lawn to widen the roadway and install a “bike path to nowhere,” telling riders they can just use the rail trails; a commenter calls it the “worst anti-bicycle twaddle” he’s seen in some time.

A Virginia woman learns the hard way you can’t tow your kids in a bike trailer behind your 40 mph moped.

As promised, Atlanta bike riders bring traffic to a crawl by slow rolling during the morning commute. But how many of those drivers actually got to work or school after crawling in traffic, and decided that the people on bikes had a point? Probably somewhere south of zero.

Tiger Woods says his big comeback at the Masters golf tournament was like riding a new bicycle. But without all the angry drivers and bike lane-fighting NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers.

International

Road.cc offers a guide to tandems.

Apparently, the Royal Canadian Mounties have invented bicycle registration.

Country singer Keith Urban is one of us, using a two-hour bike ride around London to clear his head and discover Irish singer Foy Vance.

More proof that bicyclists face the same problems everywhere, as a Glasgow bike rider angrily accuses cops of being lazy and risking his safety by parking in a bike lane near the police headquarters.

Benedict Cumberbatch learned the hard way not to mess with an angry bicyclist, getting slapped in the face by a man Cumberbatch knocked off his bike with his Lamborghini SUV on the Isle of Wight last year — and just a year after he rescued a bike rider from a London mugging.

Surprisingly, after what may be our first-ever news report from the Isle of Wight, we have another, as a bike-riding letter writer suffering from a severe case of windshield bias says bike riders should be forced to use cycle tracks, both for their own safety and so they don’t interrupt the flow of vehicle traffic. And inconvenience people like him.

The Irish Times says rampant bike theft in Dublin is putting people off bicycling. Same could be said of any major city, including Los Angeles; people who have their bikes stolen often decide it’s just not worth it. Which is why fighting bike theft has to be a priority in getting drivers out of their cars.

A Dutch woman explains how she biked her way around the world for 18 months on the equivalent of just $6,500.

Horrible story from India, where a young woman on a motor scooter was killed when she passed too close to a shepherd who was riding his bicycle with a scythe on his shoulder, slicing her throat as she rode by.

An Aussie stockbroker talks bicycling — including the admonition to just have fun, on the good days and the bad.

A Canberra, Australia paper wants to know why bike riders keep dying on the area’s country roads; a driver recounts barely missing endurance cyclist Mike Hall just 12 miles and a few hours before he was killed by another motorist.

A determined Vietnamese boy hopped on a rusted bicycle with no brakes and rode 62 miles of a 200 mile journey to Hanoi to see his sick baby brother, using the soles of his sandals to brake the bike down going downhill; a kind stranger drove him to the next town and arranged transportation the rest of the way.

Road rage doesn’t pay in Singapore, as a bike rider who tangled with a truck driver is fined the equivalent of around $2,000.

Competitive Cycling

Belgian pro Philippe Gilbert won his fourth monument on the cobbles of Sunday’s Paris Roubaix, topping Germany’s Nils Politt in a cat-and-mouse battle at the end.

Belgium’s Wout Van Aert, one of the pre-race favorites, struggled to make it to the finish line after a crash and multiple mechanical problems.

Road.cc considers eleven ways the pros prepare for the rough roads of Paris Roubaix. Apparently, repeatedly smashing their testicles with a wooden mallet to get used to the cobbles isn’t one of them.

Dozens of mountain bikers are racing 400 miles from San Diego to Idyllwild to benefit the San Diego Mountain Bike Association.

Finally…

If you’re a convicted felon illegally carrying a gun and burglary tools on your bike, don’t leer into cars while wearing latex gloves. When you’re carrying meth and a hidden handgun while walking a freshly spray-painted bike, try to not to let the paint rub off on your hands.

And if someone punches you in the face, steals your speakers and rides off on your bike, he’s probably not really your friend.

Morning Links: Report of fatal bike crash in Gardena, what not to do on a bike, and an oopsie vehicular assault

Unfortunately, we have to start with bad news today.

I’ve received an unconfirmed report from a credible source that a bike rider was killed in a collision with the driver of a big rig truck in Gardena yesterday.

There’s nothing in the news yet, and no notice from the Gardena police.

Which sadly, isn’t too unusual.

We’ll let you know when there’s more information.

Update: I’ve been informed that the crash actually occurred on the other side of the 110 Freeway at South Broadway near 157th in unincorporated West Rancho Dominguez.

However, there’s still no official confirmation, and nothing in the news.

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A Virginia bike rider stars in his own what not to do video.

Seriously, try to remember that red lights and right-of-way laws exist for a reason.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps going on.

A Dallas-area man intentionally rammed his car into a 13-year old boy in a case of mistaken identity; the victim was just sitting on his bike waiting to ride into the crosswalk when the man drove into him, thinking he was someone else.

Let’s hope an “Oops, my bad” isn’t enough this time.

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Local

Police are looking for a gunman who rode his bicycle up to a man in South LA and shot him to death around midnight Sunday night.

Curbed catches up with LA’s new plan to create permanent memorials for people killed on bikes. But fails to mention that the city will only post 20 year. So unless Vision Zero succeeds in lowering the city’s rate of bicycling fatalities, someone will be left out.

E-scooters finally invade DTLA. It will be interesting to see what effect, if any, they have on Downtown’s docked Metro Bike bikeshare.

Santa Monica-based Bird has reportedly taken repair of their eponymous scooters in-house; a lawsuit alleges the company told freelance mechanics to ignore loose screws and wobbly parts.

State

San Francisco’s popular semi-protected Wiggle bike route puts bike riders at risk by abruptly throwing them into traffic in dangerous mixing zones.

The New York Times examines the heartbreaking story of Olympic cyclist and Stanford math grad student Kelly Catlin, who took her own life just months after suffering a head injury while racing.

National

People for Bikes announced it is merging operations with fellow industry nonprofit Bicycle Product Suppliers Association, allowing the two groups to speak to government leaders with a single, unified voice. Which is only slightly repetitively redundant.

One by one, micromobility companies are throwing in the towel on dockless bikeshare in favor of scooters.

Business Insider lists five tools every home bike mechanic needs for easy repairs. Although I’ve somehow managed to ride nearly four decades without needing any of them, except for the torque wrench.

Oregon considers importing half of the Idaho Stop Law from their neighbor to the east, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs and flashing red lights as yields, but still requiring them to come to a full stop at red lights.

A Nogales AZ man has gone from being a bike skeptic to a bicycling evangelist in just a few years, founding a weekly ride that started with three people and building to over 100. And they don’t take excuses from prospective riders, providing bikes, helmets and lights to anyone without them.

A local paper says suburban Illinois bike riders want a little respect from drivers. Personally, I don’t care if they respect me, as long as give me some space, leave me alone and don’t run over my ass.

Ouch. A Pittsburgh woman is suing REI, alleging that they failed to properly install or adjust the stem on her bike, causing her handlebars to drop while she was riding and throwing her into a concrete barrier.

I want to be like them when I grow up. A bike club composed of riders ranging from 68 to 94 is taking to the streets around their North Carolina retirement community. Not to mention these bike-born AARP badasses call themselves the Cyclepaths.

No bias here. After a Baton Rouge LA bike rider was found lying dead in a ditch just a block from his home, police concluded that he was the victim of a traffic collision. But insisted there was no foul play, even though the driver who apparently killed him was nowhere to be found. Evidently, leaving someone to die alone in a ditch just isn’t considered foul in the Pelican State.

International

No bias here, either. After an Alberta police chief witnesses several distracted pedestrians put themselves in danger, he watches a lone bike rider roll a red light. But feels the need to stress that bicyclists must share responsibility.

Um, okay. A Canadian triathlon magazine offers tips on how run faster off the bike. Because it’s so hard to run on one, apparently.

A 71-year old English driver offers yet another reminder that no one, ever, comes out of nowhere. Not even a 58-year old bike rider dressed in hi-viz.

Horrible story from the UK, where a 15-year old boy has been charged with murder after allegedly throwing a bicycle into the path of a motorcyclist.

Britain’s Lord Winston, who says he only dislikes scofflaw bicyclists even though his anti-bike proposals target everyone on two wheels, is now calling for bike riders to be required to carry some sort of electronic tags that can presumably be read by some sort of device for no apparent purpose.

You can no longer ride your moped in Amsterdam bike lanes.

We need this here. A German app not only names and shames drivers by posting photos of their vehicles blocking bike lanes, it automatically notifies the appropriate authorities to — hopefully — do something about it.

According to Vox, Barcelona is attempting to shatter the dominance of motor vehicles by creating a network of superblocks where “pedestrians, cyclists and citizens mix in safety.” So that means people who walk or ride bikes aren’t citizens, right?

The Philippines is considering legislation that would create the equivalent of a nearly five-foot passing law.

Budget ebike maker Xiaomi has introduced a ped-assist bike capable of going 50 miles on a single charge for less than $400. But once again, if you’re not in China, you’re out of luck for now.

Competitive Cycling

This is the cost of traffic violence. Five members of the Bahrain National Cycle Team were seriously injured by a distracted driver while on a training ride, with three suffering what was described as severe injuries, when the texting driver swerved into the peloton — even though the team’s coach was following the group with a danger sign.

Peter Kennaugh, a veteran cyclist from the Isle of Man, has decided to step away from pro cycling to focus on his mental heath and well-being; Bicycling considers what we can learn from his painful decision.

Finally…

Your next ebike could fold in just 10 seconds. Who says you can’t go to college to study bicycle design and fabrication?

And at least he didn’t try to stuff the bike into his pants.

Morning Links: LAPD corrals South LA Slasher, Arkansas adopts Idaho Stop, and LA isn’t the happiest place in US

Looks like they finally got him.

We hope.

After a nearly two week, bike-born crime spree that left nine men and women with severe cuts to their necks and faces, LAPD detectives announced yesterday that they have made an arrest in the South LA Slasher case.

Police identified 19-year old Len Rey Briones, a homeless man residing in South LA, as the suspect.

Briones would allegedly ride his mountain bike up to the unwary victims and slash them in the face with a knife or some other sharp object, then ride off before they had time to react.

He was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

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Call it the Arkansas Stop Law.

Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a bill that will bring the Idaho Stop Law to the state, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and red lights as stop signs, as long as there is no conflicting traffic.

This makes Arkansas just the second state to adopt the full Idaho Stop Law, though Delaware allows riders to treat stops as yield, but not roll through red lights.

Colorado also permits riders to roll stop signs, but leaves it up to local jurisdiction whether or not to actually allow it.

You can probably guess which state was the first to adopt the law.

Meanwhile, Northwest Arkansas is attempting to promote itself as a mountain biking destination, catapulted onto the global stage by winning the 2022 world cyclocross championships.

This new law certainly won’t hurt.

And it’s proof that promoting safe bicycling isn’t a liberal or conservative issue.

Just a human one.

Can’t wait to hear the first person argue that a similar law won’t work here because “This isn’t Arkansas.”

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It shouldn’t surprise anyone that communities with a high level of bike commuting also rank high on the list of America’s happiest cities.

Which probably explains why Los Angeles checks in at a lowly 82nd.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. A Colorado Springs CO bike rider suffered three broken ribs and a broken clavicle when someone booby trapped a popular bike trail, stringing a rope across the trail just half an hour after he and a companion had passed through in the opposite direction.

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Former pro cyclist Phil Gaimon is riding with this year’s Chef’s Cycle for No Kid Hungry; he has just over $1,800 to go to meet his $7,500 fundraising goal.

And hopes to raise an additional $100,000 for No Kid Hungry over the summer.

………

Local

Spectrum News 1 examines the Venice Great Streets project, and the road diet that sent opponents into fits of apoplexy. Then again, they only need to see the words Vision Zero to get the pitchforks and torches out.

Keep Rowena Safe offers their endorsements for the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council.

LA Walks introduces new Executive Director John Yi, replacing outgoing ED Emilia Crotty.

Santa Monica will host a Repair Cafe at the Camera Obscura at Palisades Park on Saturday to fix common household items; a bike mechanic from the Santa Monica Bike Center will be on hand, as well.

You’re invited to join an exploratory ride for the upcoming Mission to Mission 626 Gold Streets open streets event this Sunday.

The LACBC hosts their rescheduled tour of historic San Fernando and environs on Sunday as this month’s Sunday Funday Ride.

CiclaValley celebrates spring with a gravel bike ride on Sulphur Spring Road.

State

California considers joining Utah in dropping the legal blood alcohol level from 0.8. to 0.5. Which is probably the most effective way to increase the number of legally drunk drivers on the road.

The 405 Freeway will be shut down overnight between Beach Blvd and Goldenwest Street in Westminster this Saturday as part of a project to replace the Bolsa Ave bridge, eventually providing new bike lanes and sidewalks, as well as two additional lanes.

Caught on video: A thief makes off with a $5,000 bicycle from a Costa Mesa bike shop after giving a fake ID and riding off during a test ride.

The San Diego bike rider seriously injured in a crash with a scooter user was reportedly riding salmon on the boardwalk near Belmont Park; he suffered several fractured vertebrae and two broken ribs.

A Pismo Beach resident filmed a bike chop shop operating openly in the Oceano Dunes Nature Preserve, along with other illegal activities common to homeless encampments.

VeloNews looks forward to next weekend’s Sea Otter Classic in Monterey.

Cupertino is not so impressed with Apple’s proposal to pay for $9.1 million in bike and pedestrian improvements, in lieu of an employee head tax on local businesses.

San Francisco may beat Los Angeles to be the first California city to impose congestion pricing.

National

A new nationwide study shows an average of 25 children are treated in emergency rooms for bicycling injuries every hour; there was no significant difference in the rate of injuries whether or not the children were wearing bike helmets.

Outside offers their picks for the country’s best supported bike rides, including California’s Sierra to the Sea ride this June.

Salsa has issued a recall for their Warbird and Vaya bicycles due to a risk of the frame breaking.

Hundreds of Lime dockless bikeshare bikes ended up stacked in a Reno scrapyard after the company was unable to reach an agreement to continue its contact with the city. Evidently, there are no poor or homeless people up there who could have put the bikes to better use, or kids who could use a new bike.

A Texas bar is being sued for serving a man who got behind the wheel after getting extremely intoxicated and plowed into a group of bicyclists, killing one and seriously injuring another; naturally, the bar’s owners blame the victims for throwing themselves in front of a drunk. Unfortunately, California law prevents bars from being held accountable for the actions of their customers, no matter how drunk they help them get before driving home.

An 87-year old Texas man suffering from macular degeneration showed off his new bike, after a group of kindhearted people pitched in, with the help of a retired bike shop owner, to replace the one he had stolen.

Great idea. Springfield IL will install location markers on its 20 miles of bike paths to help first responders know where to go in an emergency. Docked bikeshare will return to Minneapolis this spring, though not to its twin city.

A Maine man will spend just 48 days behind bars for riding his bike up to a man in a drug store parking lot, threatening him with a knife and demanding money. Note to centralmaine.com — Seriously? Was the thief’s mode of transportation really his most important identifying feature? Would you describe a criminal who drove there as a motorist under the same circumstances?

Gothamist wants to know why the New York Department of Transportation ripped out a popular bike lane, and what happens now.

A Pennsylvania doctor is happy to be back on his bike less than a year after receiving a heart transplant, even if he can’t compete any more.

International

Here’s one more for your bike bucket list — bicycling the streets of Montevideo. I’m in.

Supporters say regular bicycles will survive, despite the competition from ebikes. If only because the growth of electric cars will put pressure on supplies of lithium, cobalt and other rare metals they both depend on for batteries.

London introduces a plan to replace commercial vans with cargo bikes, while hospitals are trying them out to deliver blood and tumor samples in anticipation of a new toxic air tax on motor vehicles to curb pollution.

Caught on video too: A pair of tag-teaming British bike thieves steal a locked bike in five seconds flat.

The Guardian examines how English workers built a 1951 bike tunnel under the Tyne River; it’s scheduled to reopen this year after an extended restoration. Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

A very forgiving bike-riding woman tells an Irish court she doesn’t want the stop sign-running driver who seriously injured her when he crashed into her bike to go to jail.

Just days after an Aussie study said over half of all drivers think bike riders are less than human, a new study from the UK says over two-thirds think we’re inconsiderate. I’m not sure if that’s progress, or just typical Brit understatement.

Young South Africans use bicycles to bridge the divides left by apartheid.

Life is cheap in Japan, where a 26-year old man walked with probation following a conviction for attempted murder; he got angry during a fight with a relative, and threw a bicycle off the 12th floor of a building, striking a 76-year old woman walking in the courtyard below. Fortunately, she escaped with just a nearly six-inch gash in her forehead.

Finally…

Bike riders hardly ever engage in a one hour and 40 minute stand-off over a parking space. At least we don’t have to worry about deadly kite strings.

And if you’re riding with meth on your bike, despite being released on an earlier meth charge after your case was overturned, don’t run red lights.

And put a damn light on it.

Morning Links: South LA Slasher claims more victims, AAA fights bike law change, and booby trapped SD trail

Sadly, there’s been more attacks by the bike-riding South LA Slasher.

The latest came Monday morning near Florence Ave and Avalon Blvd, when the suspect rode up on a mountain bike and slashed the face of another man with a sharp object for no apparent reason.

That raises the total number of attacks to six, all in the area of South LA and Southeast Los Angeles County.

The suspect is described as an 18- to 30-year-old Latino man with short hair, about 150 pounds and 5’6″ to 5’8″, wearing a dark-colored T-shirt and pants, and riding a black and green mountain bike

Let’s hope they catch this guy before he does some serious damage.

………

Once again, AAA is standing in the way of bike safety legislation — even when the proposed law doesn’t change anything.

Streetsblog reports that Calbike has withdrawn a proposal that would have simply changed the wording of the ride to the right rule to say that bicyclists have the right to “move away from the right edge when the lane isn’t wide enough to share.”

Current wording exempts riders from the requirement to stay to the right when the lane is too narrow to share, which is the case with most right lanes in Southern California.

Not only is it not a significant change, it doesn’t change the rights or responsibilities of bike riders at all. Just simplifies the wording, bringing it in line with statutes in other states.

Yet somehow, AAA still opposed it.

Just one more example of the organization’s mindless, knee-jerk opposition to almost any legislation regarding bikes, including their fight against the three-foot passing law.

Even when it doesn’t infringe on their members’ God-given right to go “vroom, vroom” to their hearts content.

I cancelled my membership several years back when I got tired of the organization using my dues to lobby against laws intended to protect my own life.

And that of everyone else who rides a bike.

………

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

A San Diego bike rider was lucky to avoid serious injury when he encountered a booby trap on a popular bike trail in San Dieguito River Park near Lake Hodges. Correction: I originally said I was near Lake Hughes. Thanks to Michele Chavez for the tip.

Someone had not only strung barbed wire across the trail, but had hidden it by braiding the wire in a strand of ivy.

Anyone who tried to ride through without spotting the wire could have been seriously injured.

Which makes this an attempted assault with a deadly weapon.

Let’s hope they find the jackass responsible for this. And that police and prosecutors treat it with the seriousness the crime calls for.

Meanwhile, a man in the UK got 18 months behind bars for siccing his dogs on a pair of bike riders, because he was upset over people riding on the sidewalk.

………

Local

LAist looks at the 15 people vying to become the next councilmember occupying LA’s vacant CD12 seat.

Santa Clarita is looking for one hundred more volunteers for this year’s Amgen Tour of California stage.

Long Beach residents got a street-level, one and a half hour view of the Long Beach Grand Prix course, as long as they did it without a motor.

State

This is who we share the roads with. Ten percent of drivers told AAA they “always or frequently” use their smartphones illegally while driving, while nearly 50% admit to doing it at least once. And those are just the ones honest enough to give a truthful answer; the real total is probably somewhere north of that. Far north.

Encinitas approves plans for a Complete Streets makeover of the Coast Highway in Leucadia, adding traffic circles and bike lanes to slow traffic and improve safety.

A San Diego man suffered serious injuries in a collision with a scooter rider as he was riding his bike on the Mission Beach boardwalk Tuesday afternoon.

Goleta was honored by the central coast chapter of a national public works association for the city’s bike and pedestrian master plan, as well as the Hollister Ave multi-use, Safe Routes to School path.

The popular Eroica California classic bike festival takes over Cambria this weekend.

A Pismo Beach street has been turned into a slalom course, forcing drivers to weave back and forth as construction begins on a Complete Streets makeover.

National

Outside says right now, it’s impossible to tell if Trek’s WaveCel helmet technology is as effective as the company claims; MIPS says their tests don’t back up Trek’s promises.

A new startup promises to give you airline-style miles for using non-automotive transport, such as biking, walking and transit.

How to help your mountain bike live a long, healthy and happy life.

Needless to say, Seattle bike riders are frustrated by the latest cutbacks in the bike plan for the ostensibly bike-friendly city, raising questions of what the mayor’s vision is. Or if she has one.

After exempting e-scooters from the city’s mandatory bike helmet law, Spokane questions whether the law is needed at all.

Evidently, New York state won’t be legalizing e-scooters now after all.

International

While everyone else is trying to stop drivers from parking in bike lanes, Hamilton, Ontario wants to invite them in.

A British Paralympian says we need another word for utility bicyclists to reduce the hostility many drivers have for people on bikes. Or we could just forget the semantics, and focus on changing drivers attitudes and reminding them that we’re human too.

A Scottish man on an around the world bike tour has picked up a passenger, adopting a stray kitten in Bosnia; he modified his bike to give it a space up front.

German officials blame a rise in bicycling deaths on more older people using ebikes.

Caught on video: A Kiwi bicyclist was lucky to get away without serious injuries when he got left hooked — the equivalent of our right hook — by the driver of an SUV; fortunately, he managed to push off the vehicle at the last moment.

An Aussie bike tells drivers yes, we’re human, and we all deserve respect on the road.

An Australian professor says banning tiny vehicles like e-scooters denies us smarter ways to get around urban environments.

Competitive Cycling

American legend Alexi Grewal, the only US Olympian man to win gold in cycling, regrets his winning ride, saying he selfishly rode for himself instead of supporting Davis Phinney as he had agreed.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a pair of pro riders’ Garmins after they crashed during a race.

Finally…

Apparently, riding a bike in a public park is trespassing. Who needs to pedal when you’ve got a fuel cell?

And you know your open streets event was successful when it draws more people than the annual Elks Parade.

Morning Links: Lime pulls plug on bikeshare, history of bikes, and Harry and Megan’s unborn kid gets a Trek

This is going to be the last Morning Links for awhile. 

I’ll be having surgery next week to hack out a chunk of my knee, and replace it with a piece of lifeless metal.

Otherwise known as a full knee replacement.

I’m going to need some time to calm my nerves and get ready for the procedure. And once it’s over, I expect to be too drugged out to get any significant work done.

However, I’m planning to put up a guest post or two, and hope to get to a couple of other brief items. And I’ll do my best to keep up with any breaking news while I’m out.

So check back every now and then so you don’t miss anything.

If all goes as expected, I should be back on Monday the 4th with a fresh Morning Links, and knee that actually works for a change.

Wish me luck, and I’ll see you soon.

And stay safe out there.

………

The former Lime Bike continues to pull the plug on dockless bikeshare in favor of cheaper and more popular e-scooters, withdrawing with little notice from San Mateo, San Francisco and Burlingame, as well as Seattle, Rockville IL and Starkville, Mississippi. Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

………

An intrepid, trench coated BBC reporter traces the early history of the bicycle firsthand in a video from 1963.

………

Prince Harry and Megan’s new baby hasn’t even been born yet, and the kid’s already got as many bikes as I do.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on, as some Brit asshole — and I use the term advisedly — pushes a woman off her bike from a moving car.

Let’s hope police find this jerk, and give him a shove into a jail cell.

………

Local

If you’re on a waitlist for a bike locker at a Metro station, you may have to keep waiting. The transit agency has proposed scrapping the program because of break-ins and bike thefts, and replacing it with smartphone controlled docking racks.

Safe Routes to School Los Angeles scored a $33.5 million state grant to improve safety around eight local schools.

A South Pasadena website looks back on the doomed California Cycleway, and the birth of the motorcycle when early SoCal bike riders added engines to their bicycle.

Speaking of South Pas, Gabe the Sasquatch dropped in on the city council meeting to promote May’s 626 Golden Streets Mission-to-Mission open streets event.

Environmentalists are fighting plans to move a line of palm trees to make room for a Long Beach Complete Streets project. Even though palm trees aren’t native plants and are big consumers of scarce SoCal water.

A woman on a bicycle may or may not have been hurt when a Long Beach driver jumped the curb and backed into a building; Patch describes her as a pedestrian, while a tweet from the police says she was a bike rider.

Long Beach is expanding its scooter program from the current 1,800 citywide to as many as 6,000 within six months.

State

A San Diego bike rider was seriously injured in a fall, apparently caused by a passing driver. Another reminder that a car doesn’t have to hit you to cause serious damage.

Santa Cruz bike rental shops say Jump’s dockless ebikes have unfairly cut into their business.

Facebook employees keep dumping their free company bikes on Silicon Valley streets. And police keep hassling the kids who pick ’em up and ride ’em.

A San Francisco supervisor joined with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition in calling for more bike racks throughout the city.

One of the six cops who fatally shot an unarmed Vallejo rapper who was sleeping in his car in a Taco Bell parking lot last year was involved in the fatal shooting of another unarmed black man earlier in the year, firing his gun into the back of the man’s head during a struggle after stopping him on his bicycle.

National

The Conversation examines the problem of auto-centric urban design that’s literally killing bike riders and pedestrians.

The Bike League says states may forfeit as much as $1 billion in federal funding for sidewalks, bike trails and other safety projects if they don’t use all the money by the end of the year.

The Oregon driver who killed a woman riding a bike while high on 12 different prescription drugs — including her dog’s anxiety meds — was sentenced to a well–deserved 12 years behind bars. That’s one year for each medication; let’s hope she gets the drug treatment she seems to desperately need.

A professional reporter, who is apparently better versed in the 1st Amendment than some police officers, confronted an Arizona marshal who threatened to arrest her for following on her bicycle and filming him. Did I mention that she’s just 12-years old?

Idaho decides that ebikes are bicycles, and should be treated like any other bike.

New Belgium Brewing — based in my hometown and makers of my favorite beer — has teamed with Brooklyn Bicycle Co. to make their eponymous 2019 cruiser bikes.

A judge issued a search warrant for the Austin, Texas bus driver who killed a bike rider on the UT campus last month; police say she appeared to be stoned on prescription medications, oblivious to her surroundings and driving distracted at the time of the crash, while failing to brake and ignoring passengers’ cries to stop. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the link.

A Minnesota bicycle columnist calls plans for a coast-to-coast bike path “fanciful but resilient,” saying Adventure Cycling is taking the long view in efforts to complete it. Wake me up when the LA Times — or any other local paper — gets around to hosting a column on bicycling.

Life really is cheap in Ohio, where a driver walked with just a $250 fine, and an order to donate another $250 to a local national park, after killing a bike rider while driving with a fogged-up windshield.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A woman reminisces about a beloved Boston librarian after she was killed by the driver of a cement truck while riding her bicycle.

The jerk who wrote a non-apology to a 10-year old upstate New York boy after sideswiping his bike may avoid a return to court, despite violating the spirit, if not the letter, of the judges order.

Bike Snob addresses New York’s war on bikes, as the NYPD continues its bizarre crackdown on bicyclists in response to the deaths of innocent bike riders at the hands and bumpers of lawbreaking drivers.

International

Seriously? A Vancouver veterans center says plans for a protected bike lane will put them out of business, evidently operating under the mistaken impression that veterans — even wounded vets — don’t ride bicycles.

Royal-in-law Pippa Middleton’s bike-raging celebrity fitness coach caused the equivalent of $4,800 in damage to a driver’s Mercedes following an altercation and some sort of contact between the car and his bike. He then reached into the car and grabbed the keys, throwing them into a nearby garden before attempting to rip off the door and damaging the upholstery.

A pair of road-raging moped delivery drivers got just under two years behind bars for knocking a British man off his bicycle and viciously beating him with a motorcycle helmet, breaking his arm and jaw — all because he was going faster than they were.

UK police investigating a bike theft from a train station busted a bike thief after discovering whopping 101 stolen bicycles crammed into his home.

A Scottish road safety researcher says lowering speed limits to 20 mph could actually make the streets more deadly by lulling bicyclists and pedestrians into a false sense of security. Which is another way of saying many, if not most, motorists would simply ignore the lower limits and drive as fast as they damn well please. Sort of like they do now.

Paris plans to optimize its beleaguered Vélib’ bikeshare system using artificial intelligence.

Apparently, life in Singapore is too hectic for roadway courtesy.

Competitive Cycling

The 2021 Tour de France will depart from Copenhagen.

American cyclist Peter Stetina says he’s fired up for the coming racing season after nearly retiring last year following struggles with a broken collarbone and the Epstein-Barr virus, as well as almost getting squeezed off the pro tour.

Columbian pro Egan Bernal isn’t feeling any pressure in leading Team Sky in this year’s Giro, saying the team will keep paying him whether he wins or loses.

The Redlands Classic stage race is looking for volunteers to serve as race marshals for this year’s edition.

Finally…

Maybe it’s time to start wearing a striped riding kit to keep the flies away. The best ABS system for your bike is probably a good brake finger.

And who needs wheels for a fast descent when you can ride a wooden ski bike?

Unless maybe you prefer to do your ski bike riding uphill.

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Thanks to Matthew R and Sameer K for their generous and unexpected donations to support this site — or maybe it was intended to help pay for my new knee.

Either way, it couldn’t be more appreciated.

Morning Links: BikinginLA on Spectrum News 1 tonight, the war on bikes, and brazen bike theft in DTLA

Once again, we have a veritable metric ton of bike news today.

But before we start, I’m going to be on the Spectrum News 1 channel’s Inside the Issues program tonight, hosted by former NPR and KPCC anchor Alex Cohen.

I’ll be joining Curbed LA’s inestimable Alissa Walker, new LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman, and Romel Pascual, Executive Director of CicLAvia to paint the Spectrum audience a portrait of biking in Los Angeles, good, bad and otherwise.

I tried to recommend a few other bike advocates with better insights and more TV-friendly faces, but for some reason, they wanted mine.

Go figure.

So let’s just hope I don’t break your TV.

Inside the Issues airs at 7 pm on channel 1 if you’re an LA-area Spectrum Cable subscriber. If not, it should be posted online at the above link sometime after it airs.

Who knows. Maybe I can parlay this into a talking head role as the highly paid bike pundit for CNN.

It could happen.

Let’s all play a drinking game tonight.

Take a sip every time I mention aggressive or distracted drivers, and take a shot every time I say “traffic safety deniers.”

If I do my job right, by the time the show’s over, no one will care whether I screwed up or not.

………

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

Leaders of a town in Maine wisely rejected a draconian anti-bike ordinance proposed by a local man after being told that parts of it conflicted with state law.

Or more likely, nearly all of it.

According to the local paper, the ordinance would have imposed the following restrictions, which probably would have killed bike riding entirely in the town.

  • Bicyclists are not allowed to ride on streets that have no bike safety lane
  • Bicyclists are  not allowed to ride side by side and must be at least 10 feet apart.
  • Bicyclists older than 16 must register their bike with the town;
  • Bicyclists are not allowed to wear head phones, sound-preventing device or any type of hearing distraction; and
  • Bicyclists could be fined $250 for the first offense and $500 for subsequent ones.

The man claimed he drafted it “out of concern for ‘human lives'” after seeing some people ride unsafely.

Just a reminder that there are people out there who would gladly take away our right to the road based on the actions of a few.

Or just restrict it in ways that serve the same purpose.

………

The war on bikes, part two.

A San Diego cyclist says a truck driver attempted to run him and his riding partners off the road.

Reporting the miscreant driver to his employer was the right thing to do.

However, it’s also a crime; attempting to deliberately run down someone on a bicycle or run them off the road is assault with a deadly weapon. Which means he should also be reported to the police, especially if there’s video evidence of the attack.

Even if the police can’t do anything now, they’ll have a report on file that may be useful if the driver does it again to someone else.

It was the prior police reports that didn’t result in prosecution that finally helped make the case against Dr. Christopher Thompson in the infamous Mandeville Canyon brake check.

………

Somehow we missed this one last month.

David Drexler forwards video of a brazen tag-team bike theft in broad daylight on a busy street in DTLA, directly in front of Whole Foods.

Watch to the end to see just how much teamwork went into it.

………

The Anaheim Police Department says share the road in a new video posted on Facebook, explaining to an angry driver that bike riders have the right to take the lane.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

………

British TV personality Jeremy Vine had what has to be the close call of the day, if not the year, as an impatient and overly aggressive driver buzzed him while passing in the bike lane he was riding in.

………

Local

Los Angeles has opened applications for Great Streets Challenge Grants to improve a traffic corridor near and dear to your heart. Or not.

Metro Bike’s docked bikeshare hasn’t been a hit in San Pedro, where it has the lowest use rate of any of the four regions in Los Angeles County.

Metro’s Boyle Heights public meeting to discuss plans to close an eight-mile gap in the LA River bike path was briefly interrupted by anti-gentrification activists. The final meeting will take place tonight in Cypress Park — hopefully without further interruptions.

A Moreno Valley bike rider was busted in Santa Monica for riding salmon, riding without a light, and delaying a police officer — evidently by making them look for her when she tried to flee the traffic stop. The first two are just ticketable offenses, so she must have really pissed them off.

State

State officials announced the latest round of active transportation grants; a project in Compton was removed from the list, while Pomona received $9.2 million to improve bicycling and walking, including 10 miles of new bike lanes.

A homeless man was sentenced to two years behind bars for beating another transient with his bicycle before attacking two Santa Ana police officers who tried to intervene.

San Diego’s Bicycle Advisory Board held a news conference yesterday calling for more protected bike lanes.

A woman in San Diego’s South Park neighborhood is on a one-woman crusade against e-scooters.

A San Diego County bike rider is suing the county and Caltrans after he was seriously injured as he attempted to dodge a clump of asphalt in a bike lane not far from a road construction site.

The annual Tour de Palm Springs returns this weekend, with a focus on safety after the death of Mark Kristofferson in last year’s event.

Cycle Central Coast recommends a romantic bike weekend for two in Cambria this Valentines Day.

Horrifying story from Fresno, where a pair of 22-year old twins got a well-deserved 12 years for beating up a Good Samaritan who rode his bike to the rescue of a woman they were attacking, and leaving him lying in the road, where he was run over by a passing motorist.

Maybe you want to try a little Viking trail biking around Mount Shasta.

National

At least one American company is absorbing Trump’s 25% tariff on ebikes, rather than passing the added costs onto their customers.

Curbed looks at plans for the coast-to-coast, offroad Great American Rail-Trail rail-to-trail conversion bikeway.

Hawaii’s Big Island is establishing a Vision Zero program.

You could soon go mountain biking at Kentucky’s National Corvette Museum. Yes, that’s the one where a massive sinkhole swallowed eight classic Corvettes.

Hugh Jackman is one of us. The Daily Mail says he risked a $50 fine for texting while riding in the Big Apple. Except photos show he’s fully stopped on the sidewalk with one foot firmly planted on the ground.

New York advocates says the city shouldn’t cancel plans for improved bike lanes and other commuting projects, even though a planned shutdown of a major subway has been cancelled.

A Mississippi bike shop is taking community service a step further by offering naloxone to reverse the effects of a drug overdose, after the owners’ son died of an OD.

A teenaged serial horse molester — yes, that’s a thing — was arrested with a large sex toy while riding his bike in Mobile, Alabama.

International

A hacking website considers ways people around the world hack their bikes to serve various purposes, from knife sharpening to carrying multiple gas cylinders.

Snowy Halifax, Nova Scotia is gearing up for Friday’s International Winter Bike Week with a full week of winter bike events. The forecast for Halifax calls for a rainy 45° on Friday; Los Angeles should be sunny and 15 degrees warmer. Just saying.

An English man recovered his bicycle the same day it was stolen, after he spotted it being sold online by a drug dealer.

British bicyclists and pedestrians will get to be guinea pigs for self-driving cars, with autonomous vehicles hitting the street starting in 2021, even though critics say the tech isn’t ready yet.

No surprise here, as a new survey shows Brits would still rather drive a car than ride a bike or take a bus; four in ten people had a favorable view of bicycling, while nearly half took the opposing view.

Royal-adjacent James Middleton — brother-in-law to the UK’s future king — once again drew stares taking four large dogs for a ride in his covered bakfiets.

This is the cost of traffic violence, too. A British woman overdosed on heroin in her Paris apartment as she struggled to cope with killing a teenage bike rider; she had moved to Paris after the breakup of her marriage following the crash.

Unbelievable. Life is really cheap in Australia, where a road raging driver who killed a bike rider walks with the equivalent of home arrest, community service and a $5,000 fine.

The Philippines has opened the country’s first protected bike lane along the National Highway.

Competitive Cycling

Downhill snow biking is now officially a thing, with a UCI World Cup planned for next year.

Finally…

Do your cycling inside and you might get booted if Madonna wants your stationary bike. That feeling when you announce the death of BMX star just three years after it actually happened.

And that feeling when you have to cancel the annual bike ride scheduled for the worst weather day of the year, because of the worst weather of the year.

Thanks to Bob Wilkinson for the last link. And yes, that’s frequent contributor Mike Wilkinson’s dad.

Morning Links: A bike path in the rain, Major Taylor rides again, the war on bikes, and who we share the roads with

Greetings from Los Angeles, America’s second-place city™.

The Super Bowl is over, but the rain isn’t.

So be careful out there. Light yourself up even during day rides, and ride defensively, because drivers assume no one in their right mind would ride a bike in weather like this.

And they may be right.

But when has that ever stopped us?

And let’s hope none of those drivers were inspired watching yesterday’s game, and decide to drive like the people in car ads.

My apologies to anyone who sent me links over the weekend. While I truly appreciate it, I’m afraid I lost track of some of the people who sent them. So please accept my apologies, as well as my thanks.

………

In case you wondered, this is why they close the bike path on the LA River, and other water-adjacent bike paths, when it rains.

………

Even a separated bike path isn’t safe when it rains, as this driver ended up upside down on the San Gabriel River bike path.

Thanks to Bike SGV for the heads-up.

………

The New York Times gives the legendary Major Taylor the obituary he deserved, but never got, when he died penniless in the 1930s.

Known as the Black Cyclone, he was the first African American cycling world champ, and just the second in any sport.

And like those who integrated other sports, he had to overcome hatred and prejudice, as well his opponents on the track.

He also made a brief splash in yesterday’s Super Bowl.

Unlike a certain LA team we could name.

………

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

After a New York bike rider raps on a man’s car to chastise him for parking in a bike lane, the driver gets out and threatens to shoot her in the head if she does it again.

Which is a nice, psychopathic response to a totally non-threatening gesture.

In a bizarre case, an 8-year old South Carolina boy claims a car full of men stopped next to him as he rode his bike, and the driver pulled a gun on him for no apparent reason.

A Florida man says a pickup driver forced his bicycle off the road, then attacked him with a metal pipe.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

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Local

Streetsblog reports on meetings being held to discuss options to close the 8-mile gap in the LA River bike path through DTLA; one last meeting will be held in Cypress Park on Thursday.

Urbanize Los Angeles offers a better look at the streetscape improvements coming to Broadway and Manchester in South LA.

A Nigerian journalist offers a tourist’s eye view of the City of Angeles, including a bike tour of Venice, after an Ethiopian airline begins direct flights from Togo. Although he seems to confused Los Angeles with San Diego, size-wise.

A Long Beach police detective is in deep trouble after a pair of allegedly drunken and/or stoned crashes, including fleeing the scene after rear-ending a bike rider in Marina del Rey, followed by crashing into another driver on the 405; she was released on $100,000 bond. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. Police in Gardena pulled over a suspected drunk driver who was weaving across the street, with a BAC over four times the legal limit — a level so high it’s usually fatal. He was already on probation for a previous DUI, and had an interlock device on his ignition, which he somehow managed to defeat.

State

Costa Mesa officials discuss plans for a buffered bike lane and multi-use path on Merrimac Way.

San Diego lifeguards rescued a half dozen dockless bikes that had been tossed off a cliff into the ocean, spotting and retrieving them while on a training mission.

San Diego’s Planning Commission voted to eliminate parking requirements within a half mile of major transit stops.

Bakersfield police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who left a bike-riding woman with major injuries.

A San Jose columnist credits bike lanes with a drop in bike and pedestrian deaths last year, equalling the number of homicides in the city, which is not necessarily a good thing. In the same piece, a former prosecutor and defense attorney tries to excuse DUIs, saying everyone does it and drunk drivers should get off with just a diversion class. I’m not saying he’s completely full of shit, but if someone gave him an enema, he probably disappear entirely.  

The San Jose Mercury News says Complete Streets are spreading across the state. Except in Los Angeles, of course, where too many councilmembers lack the courage to stand up to NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers.

Bicycling and transit use have both dropped in San Francisco in recent years, as the overwhelming majority of people still prefer cars.

Is anyone really surprised that a pair of scooter providers have failed to live up to the promises they made to get permits to operate in San Francisco?

A man on a bike is accused of attacking and choking a Novato hiker after she tried to stop him from kicking her dog.

Horrible news from Napa, where a grandfather was beaten to death while riding on a local bike path. Meanwhile, in nearby Santa Rosa, a homeless man was beaten to death by two men who accused him of stealing a bicycle. Seriously, no bike is worth that.

Nice gesture from the Butte County Sheriff’s Office, which gave away 600 bicycles to children affected by the devastating Camp Fire.

National

No, a Peloton bike probably won’t get you the body of your dreams.

Lime is pulling their dockless bikes from St. Louis, replacing them with e-scooters.

Stephen Katz forwards a rare story of forgiveness, as the family of a bike rider killed by a dangerous bus driver on the campus of the University of Texas decides to turn the other cheek.

Oh, hell no. A proposed update to Rhode Island’s transportation budget would gut bicycle funding by shifting over $31 million into highway projects.

A New York teacher is planning to bike across the US to raise money for cancer patients, just two years after she had open-heart surgery.

International

Mazatlan, Mexico now has a docked bikeshare system, which will eventually grow to 350 bikes and 50 stations.

A self-described avid cyclist in Windsor, Ontario says there’s got to be a better way to improve bicycling without removing parking or traffic lanes for bike lanes. If he knows one, maybe he could actually make a suggestion or two.

London considers establishing an app-based bikeshare system; no, not that London. Meanwhile, a writer in the other London is looking forward to getting e-scooters on the streets trod by Nelson, Churchill and Dickens. And Jack the Ripper.

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas offers UK readers advice on buying a bike, from ebikes and single speeds to gravel bikes and roadies. No offense, but is a pro cyslist who probably hasn’t bought his own bike in years really the best person to offer advice to casual and transportation riders?

I love a story with a happy ending. Carlton Reid tells the tale of a Brit CEO who traded his Mercedes supercar for an e-cargo bike. And lived healthier and happier ever after.

In today’s edition of two countries divided by a common language, English authorities warn people not to ride croggy. And yes, I had to click the link to learn what the hell that meant. Just like you will.

After police caught up with a British hit-and-run driver, she claimed she didn’t stop because she didn’t do anything wrong, and that the bike rider she ran down was trying to get hit. No, really, Because we all enjoy pain, especially when it’s delivered at the end of a bumper.

Great Britain’s future heir and two spares enjoy daily bike rides and dog walks, as Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis — third, fourth and fifth in line for the British crown once their father and granddad kick the bucket — enjoy a relatively normal upbringing with their self-defense and evasive driving-trained nanny.

Horrifying story from Scotland, where a driver hit an Edinburgh bicyclist with his van, talked him into getting inside to take him somewhere to get help — then dumped him in the street a few blocks away, dragging him out by his leg.

NPR considers how women are breaking the taboo against bicycling in Karachi, Pakistan.

A woman in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is leading the way to get more women on bikes in the conservative country, with 7,000 followers on her social media account dedicated to bicycling.

A Kenyan state governor shocks everyone by riding a bicycle to work sans security detail.

Social media users are calling a South African high school student a hero for swooping in on his bicycle to rescue a schoolmate who was being attacked, and losing his phone in the process.

A Kiwi columnist says don’t waste time arguing over e-scooters, when the real danger is quad bikes. Which aren’t really bikes at all, since they have four wheels.

One of Australia’s most wanted men is taking that feeling of being invisible on a bike seriously, hiding out from the authorities on a bicycle.

Competitive Cycling

Belgium’s Sanne Cant clearly can, winning her third consecutive cyclocross world title. Although it kind of sucks when your own father costs you the title, as second-place Lucinda Brand learned the hard way.

Speaking of which, the ‘cross worlds will come to Walmart’s neck of the woods in three years, as Fayetteville, Arkansas is awarded the 2022 meet.

When a pair of Pro Continental riders found themselves unemployed after their Aqua Blue Sport team folded, they got their cycling mojo back by bikepacking across the alps.

Fat bike racing in the recent Minnesota polar vortex.

When the cycling team from India’s Rajasthan state showed up for the country’s national championships, they were forced to sleep on the floor under the velodrome.

Finally…

Repeat after me — when you’re carrying coke, weed and prescription drugs on your bike at 4:30 am, put a light on it. When you’re riding your bike with an outstanding warrant and weed in your pockets, put a damn light on it, already. Chances are you make a lousy travel companion.

And feel free to do this on the mayor’s desk if I ever get killed in a crash.

Morning Links: Wicksted and Scarpa face murder charges for separate bike crashes, and bike thieves in action

Sixty-one-year old Claremont resident Sandra Marie Wicksted was formally charged with one count of murder in Saturday’s death of bike rider Leslie Pray in Claremont.

Wicksted was also charged with four counts of attempted murder for trying — and failing — to run down four other riders before she killed Pray.

A source close to Wicksted said her “mental state was deteriorating” in recent years after suffering PTSD nearly a decade ago. The empty liquor bottles in her car suggest she may have been self-medicating.

She is still being held on $2 million bond, although prosecutors plan to request an increase to $6.2 million.

Meanwhile, the allegedly stoned driver who killed Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza as he rode his bike has also been charged with murder.

According to KCBS-2/KCAL-9, 23-year old Mission Viejo resident Stephen Taylor Scarpa was under the influence of multiple controlled substances when he drove into the bike lane and onto the sidewalk, slamming into Kreza’s bike in the process.

Unless police are alleging that, like Wicksted, Scarpa deliberately targeted his victim, the murder charge suggests that Scarpa may have at least one previous DUI conviction.

People convicted of driving under the influence in California are required to sign a Watson notice stating they can be charged with murder if they kill someone as a result of an additional DUI offense.

He faces up to 15 year behind bars, and is being held on $2 million bond.

The crowdfunding account for Kreza’s family has now raised over $160,000 in three days.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for Wicksted links and photo of Leslie Pray ghost bike.

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Granada Hills bike thieves use their SUV as a step stool to break into a complex and make off with three bicycles. And even go back to grab what looks like a tire pump.

Thanks to Joe Linton for the link to the video.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

Or maybe not.

An anti-bike saboteur known as the Boulie Tacker is back in action Down Under, sprinkling tacks on a popular riding route after taking an 18-month hiatus; several bicyclists have suffered serious injuries after hitting the tacks, as well as countless flat tires.

And a “horrifying” video of unknown origin has been circulating online, showing a car passenger firing fireworks at a bike rider and scoring a direct hit.

Or it would be horrifying if it was real; a hit from a rocket like that would probably result in serious, if not fatal, injuries.

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Local

If you want to know why Los Angeles was never seriously considered for Amazon’s second HQ, consider that their guidelines called for good transit, bicycling infrastructure and affordable housing. None of which apply in the City of Angels.

 

State

Streetsblog talks with Caltrans Executive Director Laurie Berman about Complete Streets, climate change and culture change at the agency; she’s the first woman to hold the top position at California’s Department of Transportation.

The CHP is warning bicyclists and pedestrians in the Modesto area to fight an increase in traffic collisions by making sure they can be seen. They’re handing out free bike lights to help, which doesn’t do pedestrians a damn bit of good.

 

National

A Chicago letter writer the city doesn’t have to ban bikes from the popular — and crowded — Riverwalk; just build a protected bike lane on a nearby street.

Indiana’s supreme court rules that a woman who was hit by an on-duty cop while bicycling with her kids can take her case to trial.

Life is cheap in New Hampshire, where a California woman was sentenced to a whole six months behind bars for fleeing the scene after seriously injuring a bike rider. If the courts and lawmakers don’t take hit-and-run seriously, why would anyone else?

A Pennsylvania letter writer says he’d like to see “a report on accidents, damage and injuries caused by cyclists,” as well as statistics on how many riders have left the scene. Just wait until someone tells him about hit-and-run drivers.

A Savannah columnist says not all bicycling is by choice; some people are just trying to get to and from work the only way they can.

Sad news from Florida, where one of the four bike riders who were critically injured by a 91-year old driver has died; state troopers blame the victims for making an unsafe lane change.

 

International

Cycling Tips lists the world’s ten best bike shops , including the Cub House right here in San Marino.

Lime has launched a $3 million campaign to encourage their customers to use the company’s dockless bikeshare and e-scooters responsibly; a Kiwi car review website says don’t bother, calling it a waste of time.

A British city counselor says he likes the idea of bike paths in principal, as long as they don’t inconvenience those poor, suffering drivers.

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is one of us, participating in a youth bike ride for peace before launching a comprehensive anti-terror military offensive in the country.

Life is cheap in New Zealand, where a road raging, hit-and-run driver walks with just six months probation after deliberately using his car to break a bike rider’s leg. On the plus side, he lost his license for 20 months, and the expenses forced him to sell his car.

The close friend of a fallen Australian bike advocate unleashes on the country’s police and politicians in an emotional video, saying they’ve done nothing to stop bicycling deaths.

 

Competitive Cycling

Geraint Thomas says he and fellow Tour de France winner Chris Froome should be co-leaders of Team Sky next year, even though Froome has four yellow jerseys to his one.

Three-time Polish world champ Ryszard Szurkowski announced he was paralyzed and unable to pay his medical bills after suffering severe spinal injuries in a multi-bike pileup while still racing at age 72.

Former rising pro cyclist Adrien Costa reveals he was trapped under a rock for six hours in the climbing fall that cost him his leg, as Zwift announces a fundraising campaign to help pay his expenses.

Former Australian pro cyclist Jonathan Cantwell has died of an undisclosed cause; he was just 36.

A British woman discusses successfully taking up BMX racing in her 50s, despite suffering from asthma.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could have anti-lock brakes. Your next mountain bike could be a Ducati — if you’re willing to move to Europe.

And your local bike shop could look like an art museum.

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