Tag Archive for vehicular assault

Morning Links: Marin driver arrested for swerving into 4 cyclists, and traffic deaths up in US, including bicyclists

Call it attempted murder.

In just the latest horrifying attack on the streets, four cyclists participating in the Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin were injured when a driver allegedly swerved his truck into them.

The pickup driver fled the scene after smashing into them from behind, in an attack that witnesses described as intentional.

One of the riders is in stable condition after suffering major injuries; the other three were not seriously injured.

It’s probably not what any of them expected when they signed up to ride with cycling legend Jens Voigt.

Police later arrested 21-year old Novato resident Aaron Michael Paff, an off-duty maintenance worker for the Marin Municipal Water District.

He was taken into custody roughly 12 hours after the attack, and released on $50,000 bond. There was no word on possible charges as of Sunday night.

However, this should be a case of assault with a deadly weapon, at the bare minimum.

Dr. Christopher Thompson got five years in state prison for a similar assault, in which he intentionally brake-checked a pair of riders on Mandeville Canyon Road in 2008.

Photo of suspect vehicle from CHP. Thanks to everyone who let me know about this case.

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It shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that our streets are getting even deadlier.

In the latest report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic fatalities shot up another 5.6% in the US last year, coming on the heels of an 8.4% increase the year before.

According to the report, there was an increase in almost every category, from pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists, to DUIs and day versus night crashes.

A total of 37,461 people were killed on American streets last year, up from 35,485 the year before.

Four hundred ninety-two pedestrians lost their lives, the highest figure since 1990. And 840 bicyclists were killed, a 1.3% increase and the most since 1991.

It’s worth noting, especially in light of the next item, that an average of over 102 people died in crashes in the US every day — dwarfing the 58 killed in Las Vegas last week.

But no one is holding vigils. No one is sending thoughts and prayers.

And hardly anyone even seems to notice.

Or care.

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Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has written a hard-hitting piece comparing gun violence with the violence on our streets.

In the first instance, Americans have decided that mass shootings are a reasonable and acceptable cost of being able to easily and legally obtain weapons of virtually any kind. In the second, Californians have decided that individual killings of cyclists are a reasonable and acceptable cost for being able to drive as fast as possible to get where they want to go.

Whether or not you agree with his premise, it’s worth the read. Because this is a conversation our country will have to have sooner or later.

And it’s already a lot later than it should be.

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A Belgian cyclist is lucky to walk away after flipping over a barrier at the Giro di Lombardia, as Vincenzo Nibali takes his 50th career win.

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Local

An LA company presents its vision for a four-mile section of the LA River, calling it the LA River Gateway.

One letter writer in the LA Times asks if drivers who object to bike lanes have a better solution, while another says traffic has always been bad in Playa del Rey, and it’s not the bike lanes’ fault.

 

State

New bicycle wayfinding signs go up in Highland.

The Southern California Association of Governments has approved nearly $10 million in funding for active transportation projects in the Coachella Valley.

Ventura County approves construction of bike lanes along Potrero Road near Lake Sherwood.

Sad news from Arroyo Grande, where a woman was killed while riding her bike on the popular Corbett Canyon Road; the driver played a variation of the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming he couldn’t see her because the sun was in his eyes. Even though admitting something like that should be a confession, not an alibi. Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling for the heads-up.

A drunk San Francisco salmon cyclist was responsible for one of the 13 crashes involving GM’s driverless cars when he crashed into the car’s bumper after its human operator had stopped the vehicle.

 

National

A Spokane WA woman is considering a civil suit after a bike rider plowed into her on a multi-use trial; the rider yelled “hot pizza” as a warning, somehow thinking that would make her get out of his way. Pedestrians are unpredictable. So slow the f*** down around them and pass carefully. It’s not that hard.

Dozens of wounded vets joined 71-year old former president George W. Bush on his annual Warrior 100K mountain bike ride.

A driver in Austin TX says he only drove drunk, ran down a cyclist and fled the scene because there was a two-hour wait for a cab.

A Montana man is working to send bikes to Central America to be converted to pedal-powered machines.

An Indiana man rode 2,800 miles from Portland, Oregon to his home state, despite suffering from epilepsy and cerebral palsy.

Facing 35 years in prison for the drunken hit-and-run death of a bicyclist, a Kentucky driver tries to withdraw his guilty plea, saying it wasn’t fair because the crash wasn’t intentional. And the drinking — and getting behind the wheel afterwards — was probably an accident, too.

Over one thousand bicyclists turned out to ride with actor Patrick Dempsey at his annual fundraiser ride in Maine.

A New York man died a week after he was attacked with a hammer by five teenagers who were trying to steal his bike. We’ve said it many times before — no bicycle is worth your life, so just let it go.

A New York woman has died a month after she was struck by a drunk, unlicensed driver who plowed into several bicyclists who were on a fundraising ride. As I recall, there were allegation that this crash may have been intentional, as well.

A homeless man in Florida has been ruled mentally incompetent to stand trial in the stabbing death of a man who was riding his bike from Connecticut to Miami to propose to his girlfriend.

 

International

A Toronto columnist asks if there’s a war on cars in the city, why are drivers the only ones racking up a body count? It’s a question we should be asking here, and every city where drivers claim ownership of the streets. Which is pretty much everywhere. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

No bias here. Britain’s Daily Mail offers a breathless headline saying two pedestrians are killed or maimed by bicyclists every week. Then in smaller type mentions that there’s no information on who was at fault, and that it still amounts to less than 1% of pedestrian injuries each year on British roads.

Caught on video: A road raging London driver loses it because a bike rider had the audacity to be in front of him.

A London priest is urging his parishioners to pray to stop a bikeway from being installed in front of the church, claiming it would do more harm that the German Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain.

Caught on video too: A British man learns why you don’t ride under crossing gates.

A man in the UK rode his bike 450 miles through France and Great Britain to deliver a petition to the prime minister’s office to cancel Brexit.

A new Scottish study shows riding a bike on bad roads for as little as 16 minutes is enough to cause nerve damage in the hands and arms. Which means that most LA bike riders could have trouble just picking up a pencil.

An Australian state supreme court justice is one of us, too.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a boat. Any band can travel by bike between gigs, but how many perform along the way?

And if you’re going to suffer a heart attack while riding, do it in front of a restaurant full of medical professionals.

 

Morning Links: Laguna driver runs down cyclist and tries to hit another, stolen bikes, and Vision Zero news

Talk about getting the story wrong.

The Daily Pilot reported yesterday that a Laguna Beach driver had attempted to crash his car into a bicyclist who tried to stop him after he’d hit another rider.

But what they failed to mention was that the first crash was intentional, as well.

The Laguna Beach Police Department reported on their Facebook page that the driver fled after intentionally crashing into a man riding his bicycle, then trying to run over the second rider as he attempted to confront him.

Thankfully, he missed.

Fifty-three-year old Laguna Beach resident Kevin O’Neill was arrested on Saturday, after witnesses and victims picked his photo out of a lineup following the twin attacks Thursday morning at Bluebird Canyon Road and South Coast Highway.

No word on the condition of his victim.

Fortunately, this took place in Orange County, where the DA takes traffic crime seriously. We should expect a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, at the very least.

But let this serve as yet another reminder that it’s not worth your life to confront an angry driver.

Gather whatever information you can, from the make, model, color and license of the vehicle to a description of the driver, as well as any photos or video, if possible.

Then get hell out of the way and let the police deal with it.

Mug shot of Kevin O’Neill from Laguna Beach Police Department Facebook page.

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Let’s catch up with a couple of quick stolen bike announcements.

Bobby Close of LA’s popular Velo Club La Grange sent the following notice.

One of our members had his bike stolen recently in Ventura California, his name is Marc Thomas. His bike should be easy to spot as it’s a 66cm custom made Landshark bicycle YES Marc IS TALL!!! Marc is one of the great members we have in LaGrange as he is constantly teaching new and old cyclists in his world famous “ Drills for Skills” clinics. Along with being a key member of the club he was one of the many people instrumental in making the Brentwood Grand Prix happen for so many years.

Attached is a picture of the stolen bike. The bike should stand out as only NBA basketball players are tall enough to ride it.

I’ve asked for additional information on exactly when and where the bike was stolen, but haven’t heard back yet.

And Mina Moskol of the LACBC’s Santa Clarita Chapter forwards a flyer for a bicycle stolen from one of the competitors in the World Police and Fire Games staying at a Palmdale hotel last week.

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In the never-ending battle over the Playa del Rey traffic safety improvements, the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa will debate a motion to approve a letter calling for a reversal of the all the Playa del Rey lane reductions at tonight’s meeting.

Despite what opponents of the Venice Blvd Great Streets project are saying, Sweet Lucie’s Ice Cream in Mar Vista may be closing, but it has nothing to do with the lane reductions.

And a new online petition asks you to show your support for Vision Zero in the face of attacks from angry drivers and talk radio jocks.

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Forget the worst retirement ever; LA’s own former pro Phil Gaimon ranks the top ten cookies in the United States.

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We’ll catch up with bike events later this week, but I can’t resist this one. Which could be the best idea for a kid’s bike safety workshop ever.

Correction: This event takes place on Saturday the 19th, not on the 21st. Thanks to the LACBC for the correction.

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Spoiler alert: If you haven’t the final stages of the Colorado Classic yet, skip this section.

And if you haven’t, what the hell are you waiting for?

Italy’s Manuel Senni and Romanian Serghei Tvetcov held off the peloton to win the inaugural Colorado Classic after a two-man breakaway in Saturday’s Stage 3, as Colorado’s Alex Howes lost the lead he gained on Stage 2.

Despite the accusations that her birth sex gave her an unfair advantage, trans cyclist Jillian Bearden finished in the middle of the women’s field, while 21-year old Canadian Sara Poidevin swept to victory.

The race introduced a number of young American cyclists to international competition. Or maybe the other way around.

Cycling Tips offers some great photos from the four stage race, as well as the women’s two-stage competition.

A Denver business site offers a look at the festival that accompanied, and helped pay for, the bike race.

Cycling News points out a number of problems with the race and accompanying festival, but the chairman of the Colorado Classic says based on feedback, the race will probably be back next year.

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Local

The Source offers photos from Sunday’s CicLAvia, while some local businesses in San Pedro complain about traffic and say they weren’t consulted. CicLAvia always puts a significant effort into outreach, for as long as a year prior to a new event; businesses that respond and cater to the people passing by are usually richly rewarded; those who don’t, aren’t.

The Expo Line bike path was abruptly closed for the next three months between Centinela and Stewart Street for undisclosed maintenance work on Monday; Santa Monica Next says the detour around the work zone could be made safer simply by moving a few parking spaces.

A new bike and pedestrian pathway and bridge along the Pacoima Wash should offer a significant cut in non-motorized travel times through the northern San Fernando Valley.

While LA is busy battling NIMBYs, Burbank is reinventing itself as a denser, more walkable and bikeable community.

The LACBC is offering a free indoor class on basic bicycling skills tonight.

CiclaValley offers video evidence that going down Mt. Baldy is a lot faster than going up.

 

State

San Diego sheriff’s deputies are looking for the hit-and-run scumbag who left a 29-year old woman in a medically induced coma after running her down in Encinitas on Friday.

A San Diego mountain biker was airlifted out of Sycamore Canyon suffering from head and neck pain.

In a horrific crime, San Francisco police are looking for a man on a bicycle who blinded a woman by pouring bleach on her after telling her to leave.

San Francisco bikeshare bikes are vandalized once again, as a local columnist says bikeshare is resented as a sign of gentrification.

A kindhearted San Francisco cop bought a new bike for a ten-year old boy after his was stolen.

Nineteen bicyclists with Type 1 diabetes finish a 4,248-mile from New York to Napa County.

Tragic news from Sacramento, where yet another hit-and-run coward killed a man riding his bike on the shoulder of a roadway.

 

National

The National Transportation Safety Board recommends reforming the deadly 85th Percentile Rule, which allows speeding drivers to dictate speed limits. Or better yet, just get rid of the damn thing entirely.

People for Bikes offers free photos and a detailed explanation of what makes an effective neighborhood greenway, formerly known as bicycle boulevards. AKA bicycle friendly streets here in LA, though no one seems to have any plans to actually build any anytime soon.

Bicycling offers advice on how to get police to take your bike cam video seriously. Which is a problem with most police departments — including here in LA.

Bike Snob says “on your left!” needs to die already, even though there’s no way to pass anyone on a trail without scaring the crap out of them. I’ve found that simply adding the word passing, as in “passing on your left,” in a polite, conversational tone solves the problem almost every time. But what the hell do I know?

Treehugger says cars really should wear hi-viz, their drivers should wear helmets, and car radios should be banned. The latter would have the added benefit of keeping radio shock jocks from fueling drivers’ anger and contributing to road rage.

A Washington bike rider was killed by a driver with a suspended license. Proving once again the difficulty of keeping dangerous drivers off the road unless their vehicles are impounded as well. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park invites you to bike the park on September 30th.

An Arkansas man finishes an extreme Alaska triathlon just within the cutoff time, despite losing a leg 32 years earlier.

The famed Cleveland Clinic offers advice on how to get back to riding a bicycle. And why.

Despite testifying that he was simply riding safely by taking the lane, the Pennsylvania cyclist on trial for obstructing traffic was convicted last week; sentencing is in three months, even though he’s already served a full year in jail awaiting trial. It sounds like the real problem was that he was too militant about his rights as a bicyclist, refusing to move over even when traffic backed up behind him.

New York tells dockless bikeshare companies to get lost.

The NY Daily News says only in New York could a truck driver leave the scene after running down a bike rider, and not be charged. Obviously, they’ve never been to Los Angeles.

Speaking of Bike Snob, as we were earlier, his alter ego offers 15 unwritten rules of bicycling in New York City you’re probably breaking. Or maybe would be, if you actually rode there.

Delaware state police blame a rider for wearing dark clothes in low light conditions and taking the lane after he’s rear-ended by a driver. Correction: I originally criticized the police for bending over backwards to blame the rider after noting that the crash occurred two hours before sunset. However, as Andy S pointed out, the crash actually took place before sunrise, not sunset. I apologize for the confusion.

A Louisiana astronomer has been riding across the US for the last 450 days to educate Americans about next week’s solar eclipse, covering over 9,000 miles before his planned finish in Nashville on Monday.

 

International

A fifth of all bicycling deaths in Montreal are caused by collisions with trucks, usually when riders are right hooked and dragged under the truck. Something that could be avoided by requiring sideguards.

A London court is told a fixie rider could have avoided a fatal collision with a pedestrian if he hadn’t been riding brakeless; he blamed the woman for walking distracted, instead.

Bicycle Dutch reviews the world’s biggest bicycle parking garage.

Cycling Weekly lists seven rides in Italy to add to your bicycling bucket list.

An Aussie parliament member who opposes same sex marriage says he loves the guys he bikes with, but he doesn’t want to marry them. And apparently doesn’t get it, either.

An Australian study shows men are more likely to commit acts of violence on the road, but women drivers tend to be angrier.

 

Finally…

The problem isn’t potholes, it’s the fairies. Most bike riders only have to worry about dog bites, not two-foot long iguanas — or bears.

And just what every single cyclist needs, bicycle speed dating.

 

Morning Links: Ugly incident in Koreatown, and lawsuit alleges driver killed Palos Verdes cyclist on purpose

Things got ugly in Koreatown Thursday night.

In a violent confrontation only partially caught on video, a swarm of people on a group bike ride pulled the driver of a BMW out of his car at 6th and Hobart in Koreatown. And forcibly pinned him to the street, holding him down until police arrived.

The video begins with the riders breaking the window of the BMW as the car’s trunk is already open, then shows several riders milling around as the driver appears to shout from his prone position on the street.

The LA Times fills in some of the missing details.

Apparently a group of roughly 50 people were riding their bikes through the Koreatown intersection when the traffic light changed. Rather than split the group, one or more riders tried to cork the intersection, blocking the drivers who had the green light.

The driver of the BMW attempted to go through the intersection anyway, and got into a shouting match with the rider blocking traffic. When the rider tried to grab the driver, he responded by stepping on the gas, plowing into the group and running over a bicyclist’s leg.

The driver then reportedly attempted to flee, but the riders in the group swarmed his car to keep him from leaving.

That’s where the video appears to begin.

While corking may be a common practice, it’s still illegal, even though police usually look the other way.

But as BikinginLA sponsor Josh Cohen points out, the driver could — and perhaps should — be charged with assault with a deadly weapon for aggressively driving into the group of riders.

Although chances are, he may have claimed he was only get away because he was frightened by the cyclists swarming his car.

As LAPD officers have explained similar situations to me in the past, however, the bicyclists may have crossed over the line the moment they broke the driver’s window.

Had they merely surrounded the driver’s car, they would have been within their rights to keep him from fleeing. Or they could have taken down his license number and let him leave, likely leading to a charge of felony hit-and-run.

But by damaging his car, and physically assaulting him by dragging him out of it and forcing him to the street, they’ve left themselves open to the possibility of criminal charges, as well as a civil suit for the damage to his car and any injuries he may have suffered.

Although both sides may have lucked out, since KCBS-2 reports that no one was ticketed or arrested at the scene.

Investigators may just wash their hands of the whole ugly mess, concluding that they both contributed to the confrontation.

Since the video only shows the second half of the incident, though, and not the driver’s actions that led up to it, it will only serve as fodder for the people who already think we’re all a bunch of lawless thugs. And seem pathologically incapable of separating the actions of a few from everyone else who travels on two wheels.

This looks like a case where no one wins.

Least of all the rest of us who had nothing to do with it, but may ultimately bear the burden anyway.

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The family of fallen bicyclist John Bacon have filed a lawsuit alleging the driver who took his life did it on purpose.

Bacon was headed back home from a group ride last May when the 68-year old man was run down from behind in Palos Verdes Estates by the driver of a white pickup truck. The driver fled the scene after stopping briefly and calling for someone to call 911.

The driver, later identified as James Rahman, was caught on security video following Bacon’s bike at an uncomfortably close distance. The suit alleges Rahman honked at Bacon before swerving at him and striking him with the wing mirror of his truck.

However, no charges were ever filed, and no details of what happened were ever released.

In fact, Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has alleged that the local police never took the case seriously. It took an alert cyclist to spot the truck days later, and even then couldn’t get the police to respond.

He’s also written that several other bike riders in the area had reported being harassed by the driver of a truck that matched the description of Rahman’s truck.

But again, crickets from the cops.

Even though, if this lawsuit is correct, this wasn’t hit-and-run.

It was murder.

Update: I have been contacted by Joan Bacon, John Bacon’s wife, who wants to correct the information above indicating a lack of concern on the part of the Palos Verdes Police Department. 

I want to be very clear that I and my family are very grateful to Palos Verdes Estates Police Department and in particular to Detective Hellinga and Detective Reed for their year-long effort and hundreds of hours put into the investigation of John’s death… The Police Department kept me informed along the way, were very gracious and kind and I know did a great job. It is also important that you know the decision to not prosecute the offending driver involved in the crash was not the decision of the Palos Verdes Police Department but rather a decision made by the District Attorney’s Office.

You can read the full press release from the family’s attorney below.

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Needless to say, readers responded to the LA Times’ recent hard-hitting editorial criticizing opponents of street safety projects by insisting they’re not selfish, and they really do care about safety.

And is anyone really surprised that the incredibly ugly comments to LA’s new video explaining the need for Vision Zero paint it as nothing more than propaganda and alternative facts?

Because actually taking it seriously would require caring about the lives of others, and placing someone else’s safety above their own convenience.

Which apparently is a bridge too far for some people.

Especially this guy, who’s willing to consider the lives of others, as long as it doesn’t cost him more than four minutes out of his commute.

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Spoiler alert: If you still have the Tour of Utah on your viewing list, skip the last line of this section.

Marianne Vos won her third European road cycling championship.

A Colorado Springs CO newspaper examines the inaugural Colorado Classic beginning this Thursday, looking at both the men’s four-stage race and the women’s two stages.

US anti-doping officials remind Lance Armstrong that he’s been banned from cycling. And that could extend to his podcast if organizers of the Colorado Classic pick up his tab for covering the race.

Twenty-two-year old American pro Tyler Williams is hoping to rise to WorldTour status along with his Israel Cycling Academy squad.

Canadian pro Rob Britten held on to win the Tour of Utah after leading since the individual time trial in stage three.

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Local

A new rendering offers a flyover — and under — of the new Sixth Street Bridge scheduled to open in three years. Although that still looks like a steep climb up the spiral bike and pedestrian ramp.

The Ovarian Psychos annual Clitoral Mass ride was transformed into a Black Mass to protest gentrification in Los Angeles this past Saturday.

A man in his 30s was critically injured in a collision while riding his bicycle at Walnut Street and North Wilson Ave in Pasadena Saturday evening; as of Sunday morning, he was in stable condition. The 74-year old driver remained at the scene.

Hermosa Beach celebrated the 50th anniversary of its sister city program with a bike ride along the beach for middle school students from Hermosa Beach and Loreto, Mexico.

 

State

A young boy was dragged by a car while riding his bike through a Huntington Beach apartment complex Sunday morning. More proof that kids need safe places to ride their bicycles.

A Chula Vista mom turns detective to track down the hit-and-run driver who gave her bike-riding son a fake name and address after crashing into him.

San Diego officials accept most of the recommendations in the ambitious plan presented by the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, agreeing with 25 of the 32 proposals.

A former BMX champ is rebuilding his life after addiction and prison, and helping at-risk Fresno middle school students pedal their way to a better attitude.

 

National

A ten-year old Washington kid credits his new Mohawk-style helmet with saving his life in a crash.

Colorado land managers are struggling to deal with ebikes on mountain trails, where they are often banned — and easy to spot, since they go uphill faster than non-motorized riders.

A writer drives 1,000 miles to ride the legendary singletrack on the 100-mile Maah Daah Hey Trail in North Dakota.

The war on bikes continues, as a Denton TX driver apparently gets away with brake-checking a bicyclist.

Houston police promise to start enforcing the city’s three-foot passing law after writing less than three dozen tickets in 30 months. Maybe we can get them to come up here and enforce California’s three-foot law, since no one here seems to want to do it.

When a bighearted Michigan kid won a new mountain bike, he turned around and gave it to someone who needed it more.

A Staten Island website says don’t bother with Vision Zero, because bicycling fatalities have remained stable in recent years, despite a dramatic increase in ridership. And because bike riders break the law.

Illegal rental bike vendors are hustling tourists away from the only legal bicycle vendor in New York’s Central Park.

A new 20-year study from New York confirms the safety in numbers theory, clearly showing that safety improves as more bike riders take to the streets.

A North Carolina writer says yes, he screwed up while he was driving, but a pair of cyclists didn’t help their cause by swearing at him. On the other hand, he left crossed a father riding a bike with his kid in the child seat, and undoubtedly scared the crap out him; Mother Theresa would probably have a hard time keeping her cool under those circumstances.

Macon, Georgia’s six mile long pop-up bike lane network has been honored with an Excellence Award from New York’s Center for Active Design; the project resulted in a ten-fold increase in people riding to work or school.

 

International

Ottawa, Canada solves the problem of whether bicyclists can ride in the crosswalk by installing a bike crossing right next the crosswalk on a dangerous intersection.

Speaking of Ottawa, the city has discovered they can save $41 per meter — a little more than three feet — by building cycle tracks next to new roadways, rather than painting bike lanes on the streets.

London has already removed 130 dockless bikeshare bikes from the city’s streets for blocking sidewalks. Maybe it’s just me, but using the term “yellow plague” — or even “yellow bike plague — seems pretty damn tone deaf in reference to a Chinese company, even if that’s the color of the bikes.

A UK writer says it’s just politics, not geography, tradition or cost, that prevents cycling becoming a key transport mode. And that bicycling needs to be a key part of the Labour party’s transportation policy.

Sometimes the punishment really does fit the crime. After an English boy is caught on video trashing a bikeshare bike, he’s sentenced to learn how to fix it.

Caught on video: After a British bike rider was hit by a car, he responded by repeatedly punching the driver through an open window; the man who filmed it said he’d never seen anything so violent. That’s the fastest way to go from victim to criminal. So don’t do that. Ever.

E-mountain bikes are bringing France’s spectacular Vercors Massif mountain range into reach of average riders.

Beirut bicyclists are trying to revive cycling in what might be one of the world’s most bike-unfriendly cities.

A 186-mile supported bike tour through bad roads from Sierra Leone to Liberia is changing lives.

Not surprisingly, fines for scofflaw cyclists have surged in Australia’s New South Wales in the first year after instituting draconian fines for relatively minor offenses, including a jump from $337,000 to $1.99 million for not wearing a helmet.

A new ride aims at promoting unity among Malaysians, as many young people seem to have lost faith in the county.

Japanese bike riders can pump up their tires with free bike pumps at any police box.

A Thai website looks at the world’s longest elevated bikeway in Xiamen, China.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to steal a bicycle from the grounds of the Russian embassy. It might not be the smartest move to call the police to say you’re being followed, if the person following you is the father of the kid whose bike you just stole.

And if you’re going to flee from police after running a stop sign, make sure the cyclist you end up crashing into isn’t an off-duty cop.

 

Morning Links: Playa traffic lane restored, TN cyclist allegedly run down intentionally, and Pendleton closed

Work began over the weekend to restore a second traffic lane to eastbound Culver Blvd in Playa del Rey.

The modification came one month after the traffic safety projects were installed; they will be re-evaluated after three and six months to determine if additional changes are needed.

Which is exactly what Mike Bonin has been saying all along, even if opponents refuse to believe it.

You can voice your support for the Venice Blvd Great Streets project, as well as the safety projects in Playa del Rey, at the Mar Vista Community Council meeting tomorrow night.

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The war on bikes goes on.

A cyclist riding on Tennessee’s Natchez Trace Parkway was the victim of a hit-and-run driver who allegedly targeted him on purpose, after driving at another rider a few minutes earlier.

The driver was arrested after police viewed the video, and faces charges of reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of a crash, failure to immediately notify of a crash, and failure to render aid.

They should have included assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder charges. Although those charges would require proof of intent to show that the crash was a deliberate act, and not merely the result of carelessness or distraction.

Meanwhile, the lack of seriousness with which this case — and far too many other bicycle cases —is taken is reflected in the driver’s measly $11,500 bond.

Fortunately, the victim wasn’t seriously injured, and was released from the hospital to recover at home. But says he’s done with bicycling.

Especially since this was his first ride since he was a kid.

Meanwhile, a Calgary man’s neck was sliced when someone strung barbed wire over a bike trail. Intentional acts like this should be investigated as terrorist attacks intended to kill or maim people legally riding their bicycles, rather than mere pranks.

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If you were planning to ride through Camp Pendleton today, you might want to make other plans.

Thanks to Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious for the heads-up.

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Great piece from LA’s Phil Gaimon, who answers the question of whether he misses being a pro cyclist. And covers a lot of territory with his answer.

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Lots of news from the Tour de France today.

An Op-Ed writer in the New York Times says the Tour de France broke his heart when Peter Sagan got the boot.

The Guardian says the Tour missed the chance to honor Tom Simpson by not climbing Mont Ventoux on the 50th anniversary of his amphetamine-fueled death during the race.

A rash of crashes thinned the peloton on Sunday, with Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas among the 12 riders knocked out of the race.

Fabio Aru and Nairo Quintana were accused of poor sportsmanship for attacking when leader Chris Froome changed bikes on Sunday, though they slowed later. America’s last remaining Tour de France winner says they were right to attack, while cyclist Simon Yates called it a dirty move.

Twenty-six–year old Czeck rider Ondrej Clink is competing in the Tour just six months after switching from mountain biking.

And to the surprise of absolutely no one, Bicycling concludes that riders in the Tour de France are pretty damn healthy.

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In other racing news,

Bicycling says you should have been watching the Giro Rosa this weekend, where Belgium’s Anna van der Breggen successfully defended her title.

Tragic news, however, as 21-year old Giro rider Claudia Cretti remains in a medically induced coma with a severe brain injury.

USA Cycling finally released guidelines for transgender cyclists.

Two of Lance’s co-defendants have reached a settlement in the federal lawsuit brought by Floyd Landis, allowing them to withdraw from the case.

An Indian physician tells his story as the first rider from his country to finish the Race Across America, aka RAAM.

A Georgia man overcomes homelessness, divorce and getting hit by a sleeping driver to compete in the unsupported Trans Am bike race across the US, to raise funds for disabled athletes.

A Healdsburg man also completed the Trans Am race, despite being hit by a car mirror just hours after passing the scene where another competitor was killed — and five years after surviving throat cancer.

………

Local

The California legislature set aside $98 million to help revitalize the Los Angeles River.

The Metro Bike program celebrates its first birthday averaging just one ride per bike per day, far below more established systems.

Metro unveils designs for the planned Rail-to-River bikeway, which will eventually connect South LA to the LA River on an abandoned railway line; the first phase of the project should break ground next year and be finished in 2019.

A letter writer says La Verne treats bicyclists like a fringe element, favoring road projects that actually discourage bike and pedestrian usage.

Business Insider looks at the brief, only partially completed LA-to-Pasadena elevated toll bikeway, which later formed the basis for the Pasadena Freeway.

No need to go to a bike shop for a repair when Pasadena’s Velofix van will come to you.

Kesha is one of us, as she goes for a beach cruiser ride through Venice. Keri Russell is one of us, too, saying it feels over-the-top decadent to ride her bike in high heels.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson went to court to fight 11 bogus tickets for violating CVC 21202(a) written when a sheriff’s deputy pulled over an entire riding club, calling in a half dozen other deputies for backup. And won 11 times, with one acquittal and ten dismissals.

 

State

Orange Coast Magazine looks at OC’s women-only Trail Angels mountain biking club.

The Daily Pilot calls for Newport Beach’s Mariners Mile along PCH to become a bike and pedestrian-friendly destination like Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar.

A new $15.6 million bike path will open in September, providing the only safe bike route through San Diego’s Mission Valley.

San Diego’s BikeSD rebuts attempts by the Hillcrest Business Association to gut the city’s planned Uptown Bikeway. Any business group that fights bike lanes is just shooting themselves in the cash register, since bike lanes usually result in an increase in sales by making the neighborhood more bikeable, walkable and livable.

A pair of bike-riding thieves mugged a woman walking from a San Francisco market, taking her groceries, purse and cell phone.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are offering a $110,000 reward for a bike-riding Oakland arsonist who is suspected of torching four partially completed apartment complexes.

A Marin columnist says trying to encourage bike commuting in semi-rural areas is a lost cause.

 

National

Talk about blaming the victim. An Arizona letter writer calls for banning bikes from a two-lane highway because of angry, impatient drivers who refuse to pass safely. So if it’s the drivers who won’t play nice, wouldn’t it make more sense to ban cars?

Police in a Colorado town plan to patrol by bicycle once a key bridge closes down for repairs, after concluding bikes will be the most efficient way to get around.

Denver drivers can’t seem to grasp that the separated green curb lane with the white bicycle symbols is not a parking lane.

A new study shows Chicago may be bike-friendly, but its auto-centric suburbs aren’t.

A kindhearted Illinois man bought a bicycle for a convenience store clerk who had to walk two hours each way to get to and from work.

Minnesota’s Artcrank celebrates 10 years of exhibiting bicycling art.

New York’s Vision Zero is paying off for pedestrians; bike riders, not so much.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 69-year old DC woman is planning to ride 1,000 miles in 30 days around Quebec, New Brunswick and Maine; it’s her ninth ride of a week or more, including a 3,100-mile ride from Seattle to Pittsburgh.

 

International

Caught on video: London cops intentionally door a thief riding a bikeshare bike to make an arrest after he rifled through an unlocked SUV. While it may look harmless, dooring should be considered a use of deadly force, just like firing a weapon, because it can have serious consequences.

A British paper says biking to school is the best way to reduce the amount of air pollution your kids are exposed to.

A Welsh man is attempting to become the fittest man in the world by riding a century, rowing and running 10 miles each, and lifting 100 tons of weights, along with thousands of sit-ups, press-ups and squats. All on his 30th birthday — despite being told he’d never live that long after being born with cystic fibrosis.

The first cycle track in Hyderabad, India has been jackhammered to make room for more cars, resulting in a dramatic drop in ridership.

A pair of sisters on the Afghan women’s cycling team gave up on the threats and harassment, and moved to France as refugees to continue training in hopes of making the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

You can now order Bollywood star Salman Khan’s Being Human ebikes on Amazon. As long as you live in India.

Conducting bicycle diplomacy in Jerusalem.

Chinese Police busted a gang accused of staging crashes on bikeshare bikes, then blackmailing the drivers to settle on the spot.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to attempt to steal a woman’s purse, try riding a less distinctive bicycle. There’s distracted driving, and then there’s really distracted driving.

And if you’re afraid of hearses, take your last ride on a cargo bike.

 

Update: One bike rider killed, another injured in Winnetka hit-and-run; driver may have targeted the victims

Breaking: An arrest was made in this case on this on Friday; no details available.

………

This time, it might be murder.

Multiple sources are reporting that one man was killed and another injured in an early morning hit-and-run in Winnetka.

According to KTLA-5, the victims were riding north on the 6500 block of Winnetka Ave around 12:45 am after leaving their jobs at a nearby restaurant, when they were struck by the driver of a pickup.

A witness reported seeing the driver swerve into one victim, then swerve again to strike the other, in what may have been an intentional attack.

The driver reportedly stopped to look at the crash scene, then got back in his truck and calmly drove away.

Both victims were taken to a nearby hospital, where one of the men died. The other was reportedly conscious with serious injuries.

Neither man has been publicly identified at this time.

Driver may have targeted victims

LAPD investigators were attempting to determine if the attack was intentional or if the driver may have been under the influence.

It’s also possible that they may have been followed from the restaurant at Ventura Boulevard and Tampa Avenue.

Police report the victims were riding in the number three lane when they were struck, which would have placed them in the parking lane on the wide residential street.

The LA Daily News offers a description of the driver and suspect vehicle.

The vehicle was described as a white Ford or Chevrolet “utility style” pickup truck with toolboxes on the sides and possible front-end damage. The motorist was described as a white man in his late 30s or early 40s, with “close cropped” hair on his head and facial hair.

Anyone with information is urged to call 877/527-3247.

This is the 24th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the fourth in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: Video from the scene makes it clear the victims had lights on their bicycles at the time of the crash.

Update 2: A ghost bike will be placed at the site at 9 pm tonight.

The Daily News offers an update on the story, focusing on the dangers of the street. Which is irrelevant if the driver really did attack the victims on purpose. Just like the LAPD’s tone deaf suggestion to use lights and helmets, which aren’t likely to fend off someone intent on murder.

Update 3: The LAPD has released news that the two victims were both Hispanic men; as the Daily News noted, they were leaving their work at the Cho Cho San sushi bar in Tarzana. 

The victim has still not been publicly identified pending notification of next of kin; the delay suggests that they are outside of the country. Meanwhile, the surviving victim has been released from the hospital and is resting at home.

Here is video of the suspect truck police are looking for. 

If you have any knowledge of the crash or driver, you’re urged to contact Valley Homicide at the numbers below.

Anyone with information about this collision is asked to contact Valley Bureau Homicide, Detective Doerbecker at 818-374-1943. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may also visit ww.lapdonline.org, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip. Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and select the LA Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his loved ones. And my prayers for the second victim for a full and fast recovery. 

Thanks to Steve Spence, Ed Ryder and Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Road rage assault in San Diego County, and LAPD looking for shooter of Echo Park bike rider

Come back later today when we’ll have a guest post from Mr. CiclaValley himself as he talks with Toluca Lake resident and pro cyclist Phil Gaimon about next weekend’s inaugural Malibu Gran Cookie Fondo.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

San Diego’s 10News reports a road raging driver intentionally knocked a local radio host off his bicycle as he was escorting a disabled cyclist on the Coast Highway in Carlsbad, just a few miles from the end of the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s 620-mile Million Dollar Challenge.

As the rider worked to make it up a small hill, an impatient driver began honking his horn, despite a support van warning cyclists were ahead. So KOGO host Bob “Sully” Sullivan rode back to explain that his riding partner was a paraplegic using a handcycle to get up the hill.

“‘We’ve gone 590 miles, give me 90 seconds, I’ll have him up and over this grade, you can be on your way,'” Sullivan said he told the man. “Completely agitated, he says to me, ‘I don’t care if it’s f-ing God up there. Get out of the f-ing road.'”

Sullivan said that’s when he stopped talking to the man and got back on his bike. The truck’s driver accelerated and hit Sullivan’s bike, causing him to fall to the roadway.

Yet despite the presence of an off-duty Carlsbad cop riding in the opposite direction, no charges have been filed.

“I think he needs to be arrested,” Sullivan said. “Somebody who purposely hits somebody on a bicycle using his car is either assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder, at the very least shouldn’t be driving a car right now.”

Seriously.

Thanks to Todd Munson for the heads-up.

………

The LAPD is asking for the public’s help in finding the person who shot and killed a bike rider in Echo Park last week; 37-year old William Perea was hit with gunfire as he rode at Mohawk and Montana the night of October 17th.

………

LADOT says safety remains the top priority on the LA River bike path, as they remind both walkers and bike riders about the statutes governing the pathway and the need to share it safely, in the wake of a collision with a bicyclist that sent an elderly woman to the hospital.

………

Equity is the common theme of the day.

Momentum Magazine looks at the nationwide movement to build greater equity in bicycling.

People for Bikes says the massive racial wealth gap is a major barrier to bicycle use, noting that a bike can’t save you money if you don’t have enough to buy one.

And Curbed looks at the speech given by the LACBC’s Tamika Butler that brought down the house at last month’s NACTO conference.

The LACBC deserves a lot of credit for starting this conversation, even before Butler came on board, with its outreach to lower income immigrant communities in the last decade. Along with notable presentations at the National Bike Summit that marked the bike coalition as a national leader on the subject.

………

Don’t forget to vote for LA Bike Trains and SAFE (Streets Are For Everyone) for this year’s LA2050 challenge grants; voting ends tomorrow.

………

Local

KCET discovers the delicious marriage of bicycling and desserts that is Sweet Ride USA, with new episodes appearing online every Wednesday through November 16th.

KPCC discusses solutions to the first mile/last mile problem for transit users.

The Westwood Village Improvement Association discusses how to improve business and better serve the surrounding community. Oddly, making it safer to walk and bike there doesn’t seem to be an option, even though both would benefit the Village’s long suffering businesses.

Pasadena’s bikeshare system is expected to open next July as the Metro Bike system expands northward; the system is expected to have 400 bikes at 34 docking stations around the city.

The new and improved Agoura Road, complete with shiny new bike lanes, opens in Agoura Hills after a year of construction.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson recounts Tuesday’s civil obedience protest ride and lengthy council session in Palos Verdes Estates in his own inimitable style.

 

State

Hats off to OC’s Special Spokes and the San Clemente Rotary for providing special-needs kids with adaptive bicycles. With all the negativity this election year, it’s nice to see people working to make a real difference in kids lives.

A Clovis driver faces up to a year in jail for fatally rear-ending a bike rider last April.

An unidentified man was shot and killed as he rode his bike in Fresno Tuesday night; police are unsure if the shooting was gang-related.

 

National

There’s a special place in hell for someone who would steal a bicycle on loan to a vet from Ride 2 Recovery so he could ride across the US with his dog, who’s suffering from terminal cancer. And in my hometown, no less.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske writes about a new Close Call Database allowing bike riders to report punishment passes from angry motorists to establish a paper trail in case the driver does it again. Or worse.

A Texas rider says learn to ride safely and obey the law, or don’t ride at all.

A Maine newspaper says the technology for today’s carbon fiber bicycles got its start in the state with Aegis Bicycle, but the company couldn’t hold out against increasing competition and the demand for ever lighter frames.

New York tells cyclists and pedestrians to make themselves more visible, and drivers to pay more attention, in advance of the end of daylight savings time next month. Meanwhile, a new proposal would allow bike riders to get a head start at traffic signals by going with the walk signal for the leading pedestrian interval.

Who was that masked man? A Bronx bike rider is a hero after retrieving a woman’s stolen purse, then riding off before she could thank him. No word on whether he left a silver bike chainlink behind.

Philadelphia police arrested a 17-year old boy in the shooting of a Good Samaritan who got off his bicycle to try to stop an armed robbery; he faces charges including attempted murder and aggravated assault.

Bikes and dogs are now officially banned from Arlington National Cemetery.

A Charleston writer says the city deserves the distinction of being called America’s worst city for bicycling.

 

International

You know Calgary has a lot of bike riders when the city’s bike counter gets maxed out with 68 days still left in the year.

Ella Cycling Tips offers advice on how to recover mentally from a bicycling crash.

Life is cheap in Belize, where champion cyclist Marlon Castillo is fined just $13,000 for the careless driving collision that killed his friend.

Ottawa police release a new PSA campaign explaining how to use and drive around the city’s new bike box and bi-directional bike lanes.

Caught on video: A British cabbie clips a cyclist with his mirror, then launches into a foul-mouthed temper tantrum claiming the rider somehow hit him. And yet some actually question who was in the right.

Tom Cruise is one of us, as he reportedly rides through the English countryside with his new girlfriend.

A Brit cyclist born with just one arm is raising funds to buy a prosthetic arm so he can compete in the Paralympic Games; a Go Fund Me account has raised a little more than half of the £7,500 goal, the equivalent of $9157.

A nine-year old cyclist may be a better climber than most of us, topping Italy’s famed Mt. Ventoux and Stelvio climbs in under 48 hours.

An Aussie writer says Sydney needs to focus less on fining bike riders and more on building some decent infrastructure for them.

A German cyclist survives a night in the snake and crocodile-infested Australian wilds after taking a header over his handlebars and dislocating is shoulder.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use a bicycle to make your getaway after stealing a bag-full of booze, try not to ride into a lamppost. Why settle for a mere sag wagon when you can have your very own bike butler?

And in LA we have police chases; in London, it’s investment bankers biking away from bobbies.

 

Morning Links: Cyclist nearly rammed by Laguna Cyn driver; man buys bike with bad traveler’s checks in OC

An Orange County rider asks if he should report a horn-blaring driver who apparently tried to ram him while he was riding on Laguna Canyon Sunday afternoon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiHMT1jNGb4&feature=youtu.be

The short answer is yes.

What he caught on video is a case of assault with a deadly weapon, no different than if the road raging driver had threatened him with a gun.

But even if the authorities refuse to prosecute, it can lay the groundwork for future action against the driver if he or she does it again. It was the prior police reports of Dr. Christopher Thompson’s threatening behavior towards other riders that helped ensure a conviction and a four year prison sentence in the Mandeville Canyon case.

………

Costa Mesa police are asking for the public’s help in finding a man who bought a $1,700 bike with fake traveler’s checks; anyone with information is urged to call 714/754-4873.

Wait. People still use traveler’s checks?

………

The Malibu Gran Fondo is partnering with nonprofit organizations The Pablove Foundation and Network for Advancing Athletes for the March 5th and 6th event.

And wet your appetite for LA-based pro cyclist Phil Gaimon’s inaugural Malibu Gran Cookie Dough this November, combining “great bike riding” through the Malibu hills with the “classy fun of cookies” from celebrity chef Jeff Mahin.

………

Legendary framebuilder Dave Moulton writes about the passing of San Marcos framebuilder Brian Baylis.

………

It’s one thing for a rider to be attacked by one dog; surrounded by 25 or so is another matter.

………

Local

Streetsblog reports Caltrans’ plans for a new toll flyover exit ramp off the 110 Freeway would dump freeway traffic onto South Figueroa, jeopardizing the long-planned MyFigueroa Complete Streets makeover, as well as a historic church. You have until March 21st to tell them where (else) they can stick it.

Metro is negotiating with Lyft to collect data on first mile/last mile trips that begin and end at transit stations, while looking forward to bikeshare to help solve some of that problem.

An LA model and former 30-mile a day cyclist returns to the runway after losing a leg, and nearly her life, due to toxic shock syndrome. Let’s hope she’s back on her bike, as well.

Santa Monica looks forward to a future offering real transportation choices, including the city’s Breeze bikeshare.

CiclaValley examines the hate some people spew towards cyclists on the Internet, usually, but not always, behind the mask of anonymity.

 

State

Grist considers Calbike’s proposal to rebate up to half the cost of a commuter bike under the state’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project.

Ventura police still haven’t released any additional information in the hit-and-run death of a 14-year old bike rider last week.

A Laguna Beach woman founded Project Bike Love to empower women in developing countries through the gift of a bicycle.

This should be fun. The Monterey stage of the Amgen Tour of California will finish on the famed Laguna Seca raceway.

 

National

An Oregon cyclist says we should hold ourselves to the same standards we expect drivers to obey when it comes to following traffic laws.

A Seattle TV station examines how bike lanes are paid for, explaining that the view from city hall is taxing bicyclists for bike lanes makes no more sense than taxing pedestrians to pay for sidewalks.

The widow of a Colorado cyclist killed by a distracted truck driver has channeled her grief into a heartbreaking public service announcement begging drivers to pay attention.

Northern Iowa cyclists say proposed legislation that goes way beyond a three-foot law by requiring drivers to change lanes to pass a cyclists is much needed, following too many close calls.

Great story from Texas, as a three cyclists out for a ride through the country rescue 22 abandoned puppies; all of the pups were quickly adopted. And a good idea, as one of the women carries dog food on her bike just in case she sees a stray. That’s just one more advantage of riding a bike; anyone in a car would have likely driven by without ever seeing the dogs. Or maybe run over them.

Now that Houston has a new 709-mile bike plan, they need to come up with the money to pay for it. Sort of like pretty much every city everywhere trying to re-envision their streets for people instead of cars.

A story posted on the London School of Economics website examines the rapid rise of bicycling in Memphis, while asking whether new bikeways simply reinforce existing racial inequality and spur racialized gentrification.

Angry Tennesseans rise up to fight a proposal to prohibit funds from gas taxes from being used for bicycling and pedestrian projects.

Randonneurs from around the world are concerned about Saturday’s North Carolina crash that took out four of their fellow riders, injuring two critically; one of the critically injured riders is the webmaster for bikelaw.com. Police say alcohol wasn’t a factor, but don’t say anything about other intoxicants; the driver who hit them was on probation for felony drug charges.

 

International

Vancouver will launch a 100 station bikeshare program this summer.

A Toronto constable helped change the conversation on cycling by becoming the city’s first bike cop in 1989, and advocating for bicycling ever since.

The last two cyclists attempting to break the year record set by American rider Kurt Searvogel last year have thrown in the towel.

A London cyclist suspects bike thieves are targeting certain bicycles to order after two men on a scooter attempted to push her off her Brompton.

WaPo looks at a Danish city so bike friendly, even five-year olds are encouraged to bike to school.

The next time someone tells you (insert city here) isn’t Amsterdam, remind them that Amsterdam wasn’t always like that, either. Gizmodo traces the transformation of the city through a compelling series of before and after photos. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson and joninsocal for the heads-up.

A Basque women’s race issues a new poster designed by a woman rider after the previous one was withdrawn following charges it was sexist. Seriously, is it that hard to simply promote women’s racing as a competitive event?

The author of a petition to ban bikes entirely from roads through an Aussie mountain range swears it’s not anti-cycling; so far, it’s only gathered 30 similarly non-anti-bike signatures.

No anger issues here. An Aussie man is charged with deliberately chasing and running down a young bike-riding boy after he and his friends accidently knocked over the man’s garbage can.

A new study from the University of Duh shows real time weather information affects Singapore cyclists’ riding decisions. As does looking out the window and seeing it’s raining.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a semi-walking wooden Penny Farthing. Or maybe you’d prefer to ride your bike while working at your desk.

And it’s not often a driver apologizes for a dangerously close pass, let alone posts it on a freeway overpass; it’s even less often a thief returns a stolen bike a year later, complete with a note of apology.

 

Morning Links: Glendale bike rider attacked by SUV driver, and guilty plea in 100 mph Orange County DUI case

It’s happened again.

A woman riding her bike in Glendale is the latest bike rider to be the victim of an apparent intentional assault by the road raging driver of a motor vehicle.

The 29-year old woman, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding on San Fernando Road near Magnolia Ave around 4:40 pm last Friday when the driver of an SUV allegedly pulled up next to her and swerved into her bike, striking her ankle.

After the victim yelled that she’d been hit, the driver yelled something back and swerved into her again, nearly crushing the rider between the SUV and a parked car after she turned her bike to avoid getting hit.

Police arrested 53-year old Glendale resident Nazik Ghazarian on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon; she was taken into custody after another driver blocked her car while bystanders called police.

Meanwhile her legally blind husband, who was riding with her in the SUV, told police Ghazarian did nothing to “agitate” the cyclist.

The victim reported pain in her ankle, but declined treatment at the scene.

After all, who would get agitated over a little thing like multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon?

………

The OC Register reports 20-year old Dominic Devin Carratt faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to the DUI death of cyclist Haitham Gamal as the victim was riding home from work in April, 2014.

In a horrifying detail that wasn’t reported at the time, Carratt was going over 100 mph when he slammed into Gamal’s bike; he had a BAC nearly twice the legal limit, despite being just 19-years old at the time of the wreck.

According to the paper, he pled to a long list of charges.

Carratt pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit causing bodily injury and he admitted a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury.

………

Pro cycling’s governing body considers testing team bikes before each race to prevent motor doping. They should also stop the practice of allowing riders to switch bikes mid-race, which is the easiest way to get, and hide, a tampered bike.

………

Local

The LA City Council Transportation Committee will consider a motion directing LADOT to report on the implementation of the bicycle infrastructure in the City at this afternoon’s meeting. Based on recent progress, that could be a very short report.

Several dozen protesters associated with T.R.U.S.T. South Los Angeles gathered on Central Ave to fight a proposal from Councilmember Curren Price to remove the street from the Mobility Plan. Someone should tell Price not to judge a bikeway by what he’d be comfortable using; not everyone is looking for a quiet place to ride with their grandkids.

The maker of Lucky Brand jeans offers their own private bikeshare system for employees of their offices in DTLA.

High-end British bikewear maker Rapha pops up on Abbot Kinney for the next two months.

Caltrans presents alternatives to replace the Trancas Creek bridge on PCH in the ‘Bu; both versions include a wider shoulder to make room for bikes and pedestrians.

A Pasadena bike rider is in serious condition after he was hit head-on by a driver who veered onto the wrong side of the road.

Temple City will select a final design for Las Tunas Road at the city council meeting on Thursday; make your voice heard to ensure they choose the safest option for cyclists and pedestrians.

 

State

A group of Olympic cyclists and hopefuls, including the great Kristin Armstrong, urged middle school students in El Cajon to believe in themselves. And have fun.

A Berkeley OpEd says the city needs to work to provide greater safety for bicyclists.

More bad news from Sacramento, as a second bike rider has been killed in a collision this week.

 

National

A Portland study says a good bikeway network helps riders avoid dirty air.

Las Vegas’ coming bikeshare system will be just part of a new transportation innovation district in the downtown area.

Wyoming considers creating a committee to study a network of bike and pedestrian paths crossing the state. Having crisscrossed the state many times, safe bikeways through the mountains and prairies of the state would be absolutely amazing; you haven’t lived until you’ve ridden with a herd of wild antelope running alongside you.

The Kentucky state senate approves a three-foot passing bill, including a provision allowing drivers to cross the center line to pass cyclists, even in no passing zones, similar to the one vetoed by Governor Brown a few years ago.

Residents of Hoboken would rather double park than make room for bike lanes.

Jimmy Fallen is one of us, as he cruises sans skid lid through the Hamptons on a $6,000 fat bike.

A Savannah GA writer credits recent bike lanes with the city’s jump in bike commuting rates, but fears they’ve reached peak bike with no more bikeways on the agenda.

 

International

Road.cc offers a roundup of a number of new bikes from top makers, including a Look time trial bike that would be perfect for your morning commute.

If you build it, they will come. A Toronto study shows bicycling is up 300% on one street since a separated bike lane was installed; 38% of those riders didn’t use the street before the bike lane was built.

An exceptionally compassionate Canadian family urges the court to sentence a hit-and-run driver to probation instead of jail for the death of a bike rider.

A candidate for mayor of London says bicycling in the city is quite safe, even though he won’t let his own teenage daughters do it.

Social media blows up when an English rail station operator suggests a traveler and his family should just leave their bikes at home.

Britain’s leading bike retailer is accused of sexism for saying a men’s bike is great for riding on pavement or trails, while the women’s version is good for visiting Auntie Doris.

A South African cyclist is visiting all 19 of the country’s national parks, riding over 3,700 miles in 80 days to raise funds for orphaned rhinos. Meanwhile, a Durban DJ learns the hard way not to make fun of fallen cyclists on Facebook.

A 24-year old Chinese man who once walked across the US is planning to bike from San Francisco to China on a pilgrimage to “explore the ecological and spiritual awakening in the 21st century and the cultural landscape and the political economy of the global village, through the lens of China’s interconnectedness with the world.” Oh, well if that’s all.

 

Finally…

Bashing people and cars is not the correct use for a cable bike lock; then again, neither is locking your bike with one for more than a few minutes. Seriously, don’t stab someone if you think he stole your bike; at least that’s better than how they treat bike thieves in Bali, though.

And British police appear to be looking for a maniacal bike-borne pedestrian pusher with multiple personalities.

 

Morning Links: Glendale driver brake-checks cyclists; Newport Beach legal settlement could fix deadly intersection

In case you haven’t seen it already, the big story of the day was a driver assaulting two cyclists riding in Glendale.

CiclaValley broke the story, reporting that the incident happened sometime last week as friends of his were riding on Chevy Chase Drive.

In the video, you can clearly hear an impatient driver honking from behind as the cyclists ride just outside the door zone, even though the bike computer visible at the bottom of the screen appears to show they’re traveling at 27 mph.

The driver then buzzes them at an unsafe distance, in clear violation of the three-foot passing law, before slamming on his brakes and brake-checking the riders, nearly forcing one off the road while the other has to swerve dangerously out into traffic to avoid rear-ending the car.

Yet even though this is an obvious case of assault with a deadly weapon — in fact, Dr. Christopher Thompson got five years for a similar incident — CiclaValley implies the Glendale police have been slow to act, at best.

Using a car in a violent manner should be no different under the law than if the driver had taken out a gun and shot at the riders. And should be taken just as seriously, especially since there’s video evidence of the assault.

The one problem with using video like this to press charges, according to officers at the last meeting of the LAPD bike liaisons, is that it’s difficult to prove who was behind the wheel.

Yet even that is not a factor here, since KNBC-4 tracked down the driver, who freely admits he was the driver in the video.

According to his version of events, he honked as he passed — for reasons he failed to explain, just as he failed to explain the apparent punishment pass — then slammed on his brakes after he heard something hit his car, suggesting that one of the riders hit it as he passed.

Yet the video clearly shows that never happened.

There’s no sound of a smack against a car, which should have been clearly audible. And there’s no wobble of the bike, which would have been inevitable if the rider had reached out and hit a hard object as it zoomed by.

The unidentified man, who says he’s a former cyclist himself, portrays himself as the victim in this incident, and says he was just trying to get away from those scary men who were attacking him.

Even though he was the one who honked for no apparent reason. And he was the one who passed dangerously close, even though he was legally required to be well out of their reach. And he was the one who slammed on his brakes directly in front of the two bike riders.

KNBC is no doubt patting themselves on the back for tracking the driver down and getting an exclusive interview with him. But they should be hanging their heads in shame for failing to confront him about the obvious holes in his story, accepting at face value an excuse that is both implausible and demonstratively false.

As should the Glendale police for failing to take action to protect people who are using the streets in a safe and legal manner.

They will most likely claim this is a case of he said/she said, and try to wash their hands of the matter.

But the evidence is right there on the video. All they have to do is look at it.

This just in: CiclaValley breaks down the driver’s statement in great detail, and doesn’t find a lot of truth to it. Or any, for that matter.

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

………

After the authorities refused to press charges, Philadelphia bicyclist posted video of a confrontation with a road raging hearse driver who hit him with the van’s mirror, and threatened him for the crime of kicking over a traffic cone.

………

Most legal settlements involving cyclists include a payment to the victim to help recover his or her loses.

It’s not often one tries to keep it from happening again.

Torrance law firm AgnewBrusavich announced a settlement with Caltrans and the City of Newport Beach over the death of 58-year old cyclist Debra Deem in 2013.

According to the settlement, Caltrans will pay $450,000, while Newport Beach will kick in another $225,000. But more importantly, both agreed to help fix the deadly intersection where it happened.

Deem had been riding north on PCH in Newport Beach around 4:30 pm on August 27th when she approached the intersection at Newport Coast Drive, where a freeway-style exit lane allows drivers to turn right without slowing down, and forces riders to cross high-speed traffic in order to go straight.

She was hit from behind by an 84-year old driver exiting PCH, and died the next day.

According to the lawsuit, Newport Beach was well aware of the dangers to cyclists at that intersection; in fact, a 2009 Bike Safety Task Force identified it as the intersection most in need of safety improvements.

Now that may finally happen.

The settlement negotiated by attorney Bruce Brusavich requires the city to cooperate with traffic safety experts selected by him and Deem’s husband, Cycle Werks owner Paul Deem, to design improvements to the intersection. And Caltrans will be legally required to consider those improvements in good faith.

Though evidently, not required to implement them.

It’s too late to help Debra Deem. But maybe this settlement can keep it from happening to someone else.

………

More bad news from the world of bike racing, as Claudio Clarindo, the world’s 12th ranked ultra-distance cyclist, was killed in a collision while training in Brazil, and his riding partner severely injured. Clarindo was a five-time finisher in the Race Across America, aka RAAM.

……..

Local

Continuing the theme of angry drivers, a Santa Monica cyclist encounters a driver who apparently wasn’t pleased with where he was riding. Maybe the fumes from that Porter Ranch gas leak is making drivers crazy; twice in the last week I’ve had drivers get out of their cars to physically threaten me while I’ve been walking.

LACBC board member and BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass explains the new state laws affecting bike riders.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with bike advocate Wes Reutimann, executive director of Bike SGV, about the proposed bike park at the former Puente Hills Landfill; you can sign the petition to support it here.

 

State

California is finally getting rid of the outdated LOS (Level of Service) requirement for environmental rules; the previous rules meant that removing bike lanes didn’t require an environmental review, while installing them often did.

The inventor of the cardboard-based Kranium bike helmet is suing a consortium of investors in San Diego, alleging they lied about contacts with retailers and failed to pay what they promised.

A new $5 million development in San Diego’s Imperial Beach will cater to bike riders and pedestrians with cafes, a bike shop and water station.

Police in El Centro say they don’t have enough evidence to get a warrant to look for a bike tourist’s stolen bike, even though they tracked the bike’s GPS to a house; when no one answered the door, they apparently gave up. Seriously, you’d think a GPS reading saying the bike was inside would be enough for a search warrant, but what the hell do I know.

 

National

The City Metric website asks if road diets are the next big thing for American cities, then suggests car culture may be too deeply entrenched for that to happen.

Vancouver WA gets its first green lanes.

A proposed Nebraska bill would repeal the state’s outdated must-use law requiring cyclists to use a bike path if one runs parallel to the roadway, although it may have a difficult time moving forward in the legislature.

A Dallas writer says cyclists and runners need to work together to make roads safer in the face of their common enemy, the motorist.

Nice program from a Connecticut school, allowing students to earn credit towards buying a refurbished bicycle, as well as establishing a bike club and teaching them to fix bikes.

A New York study shows that split-phase traffic signals that allow cyclists and pedestrians to cross an intersection before motor vehicles are twice as effective in reducing injuries as the more common mixing zones that send everyone through at once.

 

International

C is for Coffee, D is for Drafting, as Cycling Weekly offers the A to Z of bike riding.

A British letter writer complains about bicyclists blocking the sidewalk by chaining their bikes to posts and railings. If bike riders are locking their bikes up wherever they can, maybe it’s a sign that there’s not enough safe bike parking in the area.

If you can afford an electric car, you can now silently sneak up on cyclists in British bus lanes, where bike riders previously only had to contend with noisy buses and cabs.

Drivers usually get a slap on the wrist for killing a bicyclist; a UK German Shepard just won a three-year battle to overturn his death sentence for biting one.

Cyclelicious looks at a crowdsourced, lock-free bike parking solution in Latvia. And one that could easily work here.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have an 18-speed front wheel drive, although pedaling while turning may be just a tad awkward. Getting out on your bike could improve your sex life.

And screw OKCupid and Tinder; all you need to find true love is Strava.

 

Weekend Links: Cyclists help save missing woman, bike cop injured in fall, and Sac cyclists injured in car assault

Once again, bike riders are heroes.

Even if they are mentioned only in passing.

A Simi Valley woman was rescued Wednesday after her car went off the road in Latigo Canyon on Monday. She’d been missing for two days after driving to the beach for a run.

Her rescue came when a pair of unnamed cyclists heard her screams for help; something that anyone driving by would be unlikely to notice.

Motorists frequently complain about cyclists in the Malibu canyons.

But one owes them her thanks. If not her life.

………

Even bike cops are at risk on our streets.

Especially if they don’t maintain their bikes properly.

KTLA-5 reports an LAPD officer suffered an apparent head injury while riding in a residential Sherman Oaks neighborhood Wednesday afternoon.

According to KNBC-4, the officer was leaving the scene of a three-hour police standoff when the brakes failed on both his and his partner’s bikes as they rode down a steep hill. He touched wheels with his partner’s bike and was thrown to the pavement.

While his injury is described as serious, the department tweeted that it does not appear to be life threatening.

And yes, he was wearing a helmet.

However, brake failures on one bike — let alone both — raises serious maintenance issues. Let’s hope the department isn’t risking the safety of its officers by ignoring basic inspections and service on their bicycles.

Let’s hope he makes a full and fast recovery; thanks to Rick Risemberg for the heads-up.

And evidently, it was a bad day for bike-riding cops, as a St. Paul MN cop was right hooked by a driver looking the wrong way.

………

It gets worse.

Wednesday we linked to a story about three Sacramento-area cyclists injured by a hit-and-run driver in a stolen car, who was later arrested with the help of a police dog.

Now it turns out he may have done it on purpose.

Thirty-eight-year old Alamar Houston faces multiple felony counts of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and DUI, as well as a host of other charges, for allegedly driving into the cyclists on purpose in two separate incidents, a quarter mile apart.

The Sacramento Bee reports he first swerved into a single rider, then plowed into two other cyclists from behind, leaving two teenage riders seriously injured, before fleeing the scene.

He pleaded not guilty to 17 separate charges on Thursday, while suggesting he needs mental health help.

No shit.

………

KCBS-2 managed to track down a hit-and-run driver who struck a 12-year old bike rider in a collision caught on stomach-churning security video.

Even though bystanders came to help, the woman never got out of her car or asked how the boy was doing before driving off.

According to the station, she said she assumed everything was okay after seeing the victim get up. Never mind that he could have had major injuries that might not have shown up until later. Or that every driver is required to stop, render aid and exchange information after any collision, no matter how slight.

Police have given her two weeks to respond to their investigation. Which is about 13 days, 23 hours and 59 minutes too long.

But regardless of whether charges are filed, anyone who’d drive off after hitting a kid doesn’t belong behind the wheel. Ever.

Period.

………

Sad news from the DC area, as a Brazilian police investigator was killed competing in a road race at the World Police and Fire Games. Reports indicate one rider blew a tire and crashed into two other cyclists; the other two victims are in critical condition.

No word on which rider had the blow-out.

………

Lots of racing news as we gear up for Saturday’s start of the Tour de France.

The Wall Street Journal says the world’s best riders are going downhill — literally — putting their lives on the line to gain a few seconds. GoPro is about to go where no camera has gone before, into the peloton where it will hang out with Big Data.

In the absence of Cadel Evans, the Aussie delegation is stepping up as key lieutenants in the Tour de France, while Teejay van Garderen leads the American delegation.

The Telegraph looks at how motor doping works, and the risk it poses to pro racing. A representative for one unnamed rider reportedly asked the maker of an e-assist bike if one could be surreptitiously incorporated into his client’s bike.

Dutch police wisely decide not to disrupt Le Tour after all.

And bicycling’s longest running soap opera continues, as Lance’s girlfriend is ordered to testify, and Floyd Landis must turn over records to the courts.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers good advice for new councilmember David Ryu.

Richard Risemberg says LA could learn from Long Beach, where bike boulevards and protected bikeways have resulted in increased sales for local business, rather than the disaster usually predicted by business owners in here in the City of Angels.

An LA bike commuter explores Copenhagen and Berlin, and finds Los Angeles does have a few advantages over its European cousins. But not many.

Police are looking for a bike thief who took a Trek Madone from Glendale Cycles out for a test ride and never came back, leaving behind someone else’s driver’s license and Visa card.

Sounds like fun. This month’s edition of the LACBC’s popular Sunday Funday Ride rolls Sunday morning for a tour of early LA history, led by board member Patrick Pascal.

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition will host a potluck on Monday.

 

State

LADOT Bike Blog talks with Caltrans about California’s new protected bike lane standards.

San Diego sheriff’s deputies bust three high-end bike thieves in an Encinitas hotel.

Mark your calendar for the second annual Big Bear Cycling Festival later this month.

Santa Barbara opens a new Bike Center to serve transit users.

A San Francisco cyclist was the victim of a double hit-and-run; she was hit by a driver fleeing from a collision with a bus.

 

National

Streetsblog explains the hows and whys that kept protected bike lanes and intersections from being implemented for 40 years after the first one hit the streets in Davis CA, laying the blame on organized groups of vehicular cyclists.

A writer for Mobility Lab says there’s no right or wrong way to be a cyclist. Seriously, ride how, where, and in and on whatever you like. Just do it safely and legally.

Bike Portland talks with outgoing Bike League president Andy Clarke.

Bicycling looks at devices that could save your life in a riding emergency.

Zagster raises funds to take their bikeshare program nationwide.

Former Arizona congresswoman and shooting victim Gabby Giffords is one of us.

A 79-year old Las Vegas man continues to ride 12 to 15 miles every day; he’s been riding the same route since he retired 28 years ago.

A Colorado bike rider was shot in the leg with a pellet gun from a passing car.

South Dakota cyclists get a shiny new three-foot passing law, which smartly increases to six feet at speeds over 35 mph.

Indianapolis cyclists fear the city’s support for bicycling will leave office along with their outgoing bike-friendly mayor.

Local officials in Massachusetts are offended by bike lanes mandated by the state on a highway leading to a casino.

Police have made a second arrest in the road rage attack on a Pennsylvania cyclist and his girlfriend by a pair of machete-wielding teens, who also broke all of the ground floor windows in the couple’s home and were trying to crawl in when police arrived.

Philadelphia bike commuters are about to get covered bike parking at regional train stations.

A writer for the Wall Street Journal remembers a dedicated cyclist who lost his life in an collision with another bike rider while running in New York’s Central Park. His bike-riding widow calls on cyclists to accept our responsibilities and protect the rights of other people.

Not everyone likes the idea of a 76-mile bikeway through the Everglades.

 

International

An Ontario letter writer says not only should bicyclists be licensed, but it should apply to children, as well.

With the help of friends, including stunt master Danny MacAskill, off-road legend Martyn Ashton gets back on a bike for the first time since he was paralyzed from the waist down in 2013. It’s worth watching the video, if only to see the huge smile on his face.

British bike scribe Carlton Reid says northern UK cities are falling behind by catering to motorists alone.

In an important and chilling read, London’s Guardian looks at the toxic bias against bicyclists in the media, and how it’s led to potentially deadly sabotage of cyclists.

A Scottish woman gets five years for killing a cyclist while chatting on her cell phone; she allegedly deleted the record of the call in an attempted cover-up.

A new documentary looks at bi-polar former world pursuit champ Graeme Obree and his effort to break the bicycle speed record on an odd bike he designed and built himself.

It’s five years in prison for the taxi driver who killed South African Olympic mountain biker Burry Stander. Which is four years more than his blade running fellow countryman served for shooting his girlfriend.

 

Finally…

Bad karma. The same day an Ohio prosecutor crashed the bike he got from a bike riding judge, the judge wiped out on his new one; both injured their ribs and a shoulder. VH1 is looking for 150 sets of bicycling twins to set a tandem riding record this month.

And your next bike could be a three-wheeled T-Rex.

………

Enjoy your holiday weekend; the forecast promises near-perfect riding weather.

Just be careful out there and ride defensively. Drivers are likely to be focused on finding a parking space for the fireworks or near the beach rather than looking out for you.

 

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