Tag Archive for vehicular assault

Morning Links: LAPD shames walkers, Mexico City driver’s anti-bike rampage, and former ‘cross star makes music

Apologies for my tardiness.

The hosting service I use went down just as I was getting this ready ready to publish. When it still wasn’t back by 4:30 this morning, I gave up and went to bed. 

Which means they probably got it back online by 4:35. 

Barring any more disruptions, we’ll be back at the usual time tomorrow. 

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The LAPD has already reached a new height — or maybe low — in victim shaming under new chief Michael Moore.

Under a new insurance company-sponsored initiative , the department will distribute 1,200 hi-viz reflective vests and clip-on lights to people stopped for jaywalking.

Because, as we all know, it’s far better to make regular people dress up like clowns than actually expect drivers to slow down like the law requires and look away from their smartphones long enough to see what the hell is in the road in front of them.

Or, you know, actually build an adequate number of safe crosswalks so people don’t have to cross without one, or anything.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link.

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

And worldwide.

A road raging driver in Mexico City was injured — along with his intended victim, a restaurant hostess and two diners at an open air cafe — when he used his truck as a weapon in a attempt to run down a bike rider.

After arguing with a man on a bike, he slammed his pickup into reverse, striking the bike rider, then smashed into a parked car. Both vehicles appear to have crashed into the restaurant before coming to rest against a tree.

Let’s hope Mexican authorities charge the driver with four counts of attempted murder. And don’t write this off as just another crash.

Note: If you don’t read Spanish, you’ll have to translate the link, like I did. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

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Twenty-one year old former junior cyclocross star Gavin Haley is making a name for himself as a musician as he tours the Golden State.

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It’s Day 7 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your generosity helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day, from around the corner and around the world.

Anything you can give helps. And is truly and deeply appreciated.

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Local

LA County is studying how to create harmony between e-scooters, bikeshare bikes, cars and pedestrians in unincorporated communities and county roads.

It looks like a new bike lane is coming to Stewart Street in Santa Monica.

Pomona residents recommend separated bike lanes and a shared bike and pedestrian path to improve access to a proposed Gold Line Metro station — if it’s ever built.

 

State

A Contra Costa County judge has blocked bike access through an East Bay country club, denying riders a long-time bypass route to avoid a dangerous roadway.

New parking protected bike lanes in Sacramento are filling up with wet, slippery leaves that can pose a risk to the riders using them.

The bighearted people at a Nevada County bicycle recycling project have donated 30 rebuilt bikes to victims of Northern California’s Camp Fire.

 

National

CNET says e-scooters could be sending as many as one thousand people to the ER every month, based on figures they apparently just made up.

Colorado’s playground for the rich and famous is trying to get ahead of the curve by writing regulations for e-scooters, even though no one’s offered to put them there yet.

What’s left of a Texas family has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the speeding, out-of-control driver who killed their wife and mother as she was participating in a randonneuring event. Naturally, the driver claims the sun was in his eyes. Which doesn’t explain why his foot was on the gas pedal.

When is an ebike not a bicycle? Evidently, when you’re in Ohio’s Amish Country, where people seem to be freaking out about them.

New York food delivery riders are organizing to fight for healthcare after one of the workers died from an untreated ulcer.

After New York councilmembers call for legalizing ebikes and e-scooters, Streetsblog says the city’s mayor, who opposes the measure, is blind to the real dangers on the streets. And it ain’t the people on two wheels, battery powered or otherwise.

Apparently, a New Jersey community has a lot of kindhearted cops. After a Roxbury police officer bought a man a used bike as he watched him commute in all kinds of weather on a rusted bike, he bought him a new one after that one wore out. Only to  learn that the man’s original bike had been a gift from another officer.

Bicycling says a close-knit cycling community is in mourning, following the crash that killed two Florida bike riders.

A 415-pound Puerto Rican man took up bicycling to lose 20 pounds, and ended up riding 27,000 miles and losing 167 pounds. And quit smoking, too.

 

International

Turns out even the best air pollution masks filter out less than half of the particles they’re exposed to. Which doesn’t sound much better than tying a bandana around your face.

Forbes says cargo bikes, not drones, are the future of delivery.

A Quebec letter writer says laws requiring drivers to use snow tires in the winter are ineffective. So we should extend them to bike riders, too.

You just can’t please some people. Montreal-area drivers are complaining that a new separated bike path is impeding traffic on the nearby roadway, even though officials didn’t actually remove any traffic lanes or reduce capacity to make room for it.

No bias here. Over a thousand tickets were issued to London motorists for distracted driving or not having insurance during a two-week crackdown on dangerous driving. Yet somehow, the headline was about the 519 bike riders who got tickets, too.

No bias here, either. A study commissioned by a pressure group dedicated to the removal of one of London’s cycle superhighways has found that it’s costing businesses the equivalent of $6.8 million a year. Even though no other study has found that it even causes traffic congestion, let alone huge loses due to it.

They get it. Over two-thirds of the residents of Perth, Scotland call for improving safety for bicyclists by installing protected bike lanes, even if that means less space for drivers.

Here’s another one to add to your bike bucket list — a fondo in sunny Saint-Tropez. Unless you’d rather ride on the riverfront bike paths of Taipei.

A new Swiss study shows that switching to an active commute can help you lose weight, but says it isn’t clear if that applies to ebikes, as well. But a Norwegian study shows ebike riders exert almost as much energy as regular bike riders.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a drunk, speeding teenager who was driving without a license got just 25 months for killing a man as he was riding his bicycle.

A former Australian football great was injured when he was hit by a driver while riding his bike; fortunately, his injuries weren’t serious.

 

Competitive Cycling

South African pro cyclist Willie Smit donated the equivalent of over $43,000 in bicycles and equipment to a Cape Town cycling academy dedicated to serving underprivileged kids.

Former Giro Rosa winner Mara Abbot tells her own story of how even the best roadies can make the worst mountain bikers.

 

Finally…

Tres shock! Bike riders sometimes look at billboards and pretty people. When in Amsterdam, do like the Dutch and watch out for bikes.

And your next bike helmet could help prevent concussions, and call for help if it doesn’t.

Morning Links: New hope for Temple Street, more dangerous drivers, and Bird & SoCal cities sued over scooters

There may be hope for Temple Street yet.

Eight months after Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell pulled the plug on the long planned and badly needed Complete Streets makeover of Temple in the wake of the Playa del Rey disaster — and even longer after anti-bike Councilmember Gil Cedillo killed his part of the project — local residents haven’t given up the fight.

A pair of meetings will be held tonight and tomorrow to discuss what can be done on the dangerous arterial. And possibly even resurrect the Temple Street Compete Streets project.

If you live, work, ride or walk anywhere near Temple, you owe it to yourself to attend at least one of them.

Cedillo may be a lost cause, but it could still be possible to convince O’Farrel to change his mind if we make enough noise.

Thanks to Derrick Paul for the heads-up and the photo.

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What the hell is wrong with people?

Just a day after Claremont’s Leslie Pray was allegedly murdered by a driver who internationally ran into her, a road raging San Antonio TX driver tried to do the same thing, using his car as a weapon in an attempt to run down three bike riders he’d been arguing with.

Fortunately, he only hit a fire hydrant.

But now faces three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. And a long vacation in a Texas prison.

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Apparently, it’s not enough for some people to just run down one bike rider.

Florida residents want speed limits lowered and a traffic signal installed on the street where four bicyclists were critically injured by a 91-year old driver; two victims remain in serious to critical condition.

And a South African hit-and-run driver crashed into one bike rider on a club ride, sending him falling into the others and ended up injuring five bicyclists.

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Australia’s bike community is in morning after a leading bike advocate was killed in a collision with an SUV driver.

Cam Frewer had helped introduce Queensland’s equivalent of the three-foot passing law and fought for the rights of riders.

Frewer had been the subject of numerous death threats for his advocacy work raises a question of whether the crash was an accident.

Meanwhile, an anti-bike drivers group says it’s not their fault if some bike rider gets himself killed.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the tip.

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More e-scooters in the news.

First Bird sued Beverly Hills for banning scooters, now a wheelchair-bound woman is suing Bird, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and Santa Monica in a proposed class action, claiming the scooters block sidewalks and endanger handicapped people — even though they can’t be legally used in Beverly Hills.

There’s no love for scooters in the City of Brotherly Love, as Philadelphia gives Lime and Bird the bird after discovering motorized scooters are not street legal in Pennsylvania.

Last but not least, Greensboro SC gets on the scooter banning bandwagon.

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Local

Forget the Olympics; Los Angeles beat out Budapest as host of the first ever World Urban Games next September, with events including BMX freestyle cycling; if the city doesn’t fall on its face, LA could host the 2021 games, as well.

An Op-Ed in the LA Times says what’s lacking on Los Angeles streets is manners. Thanks to Chris Giza for the link.

Over 100 people turned out for the ghost bike ceremony honoring alleged murder victim Leslie Pray in Claremont last night; her partner called Pray the kindest and most gentle person she’d ever known.

CiclaValley rides with around 50 other cyclists in honor of bicyclist Dedrick Kon, who died recently of complications from a car crash while driving at the beginning of the year.

 

State

Hard-hitting piece from the OC Register’s David Whiting, who says maybe the death of Costa Mesa fire fighter Mike Kreza will serve as a wakeup call to end SoCal’s culture of distracted driving. Although there’s been no report that the allegedly stoned driver was distracted, as well.

Work has begun to close a gap in the Bay Area’s Bay Trail between Berkeley and Albany; when completed, the trail will extend 350 mile around the San Francisco Bay, with another 150 miles to go. Nothing like that exists in SoCal; the closest thing would be the LA River bike path, which will extend 57 miles when and if it’s ever finished; San Diego is finishing work on a 27-mile path around the bay. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

 

National

A GM fan site belatedly discovers that bike riders weren’t great fans of the recent GMC truck commercial suggesting bike riders should get a real truck.

A Mesa AZ driver says he nearly killed someone on a bike because the rider didn’t have any lights or reflectors.

A new bike lane was designed to keep bike riders and drivers from crossing paths on a busy Chicago street. But doesn’t work because drivers won’t stop driving in the bike lane and bicyclists won’t stop for the stop sign. Yet another reminder that traffic planners need to keep human nature in mind when designing anything — which is the very definition of Vision Zero.

A Chicago weekly offers advice for men on how not to be a total jerk to women walking, biking or using transit.

New Hampshire residents say a new bollard-protected bike lane has made a once-safe street more dangerous. As well as heartbreakingly unaesthetic, according to one woman.

New York’s refusal to install a long-sought protected bike lane on one street leads some people to call plans for a painted bike lane a death trap.

 

International

Tech Radar looks at the next generation of bike tech.

According to an Ottawa, Canada defense lawyer, his dump truck driver client wasn’t negligent, even though he failed to signal before fatally right-hooking a woman on a bike.

A new film follows a Montreal DJ who bought a bike on a whim, and set off on an attempt to set a new world record for the longest continuous fixie ride, over 11,000 miles through the Canadian arctic.

Life is cheap and getting cheaper in the UK, where a driver saw his sentence for slamming into three bike riders cut from 45 months to just three years.

A five-day Israeli fundraising ride brought in a record $3.5 million for a pediatric children’s hospital; Madonna, Cher, Michael Bublé and Kathleen Turner saw the riders off, one third of whom came from the US.

South African bicyclists ride in honor of a 68-year old rider who was robbed and fatally stabbed by thieves who took his bike and cellphone. Proof that dangerous drivers aren’t the only risk that riders face in some places.

An Aukland, New Zealand bike advocate says the city is turning into a bicycling city, and riders need a seat at the top table.

A group of Australian riders are retracing the route of a bike-riding Aussie infantry troop across Europe’s Western Front during World War 1.

A writer for London’s Evening Standard takes a bikepacking tour from Phnom Penh to Laos.

 

Competitive Cycling

Alejandro Valverde insists he never tested positive for doping, despite serving a two-year ban for his connections to the Spain’s Operation Puerto investigation.

Bradley Wiggins says he would have had more rights if he was on trial for murder, instead of under investigation for suspected doping before being cleared.

A Saskatoon, Canada cyclist smashed the record for the 24 Hour World Time Trial Championships held in the California desert by riding 456 miles, beating the existing record by nearly 25 miles; she said afterwards she didn’t know how far she could go.

 

Finally…

Traffic calming beats deploying your middle finger. Mountain biking while very high in Kathmandu.

And few things go better with bicycling than LA’s best donuts.

 

Morning Links: Blocking motorized terrorist attacks, forcing drivers to bike, and sickening accusations from France

We’re not doing enough to fight terrorist attacks.

And much of what we’re doing is wrong.

That’s according to a paper prepared for a New York Vision Zero conference, which says cities have failed to respond to the threat of vehicular terrorist attacks in effective ways to protect the most vulnerable road users.

Cities have so far responded to this new threat in an ad-hoc manner. Many have begun to erect physical barriers between the walkers who define their urban spaces and the multi-ton vehicles whose drivers pose a growing threat.

But while some physical barriers are necessary, government officials need to create and adhere to core principles in protecting their residents, workers, and visitors. Anti-terror infrastructure should ease walking, biking, and public transit use, not impede it. The age of terror by car and truck is an additional challenge for urban planners who still haven’t quite answered a pre-existing question: In dense, historic historic cities with finite space, who gets access to the streets?

I’ve often argued that Los Angeles has failed to do anything to protect the tens of thousands of tourists who visit Hollywood Blvd every day, especially in the area around Hollywood & Highland and the Chinese Theater.

A situation that could be resolved almost overnight by installing a barrier-protected bike lane on Hollywood Blvd, along with a pedestrian plaza at Hollywood & Highland.

That would meet the goals spelled out in the paper by improving access for people on bikes and on foot, giving the streets back to the people while hardening them against terrorist actions.

Let’s hope someone finally listens before it’s too late.

Photo shows a typical summer crowd in front of Hollywood & Highland. And needlessly vulnerable to a vehicular terrorist attack due to the inaction of our elected leaders.

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A Prop 6 supporter says you need to vote to repeal California’s recent gas tax increase so she won’t be forced to ride a bike in her heels.

No, really.

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Just sickening.

Marc Sutton, the Welsh restauranteur who was shot and killed by a French hunter while mountain biking last Saturday, was a monster and a rapist.

That’s according to his own mother, who says she’s glad he’s dead.

He served six months behind bars for assaulting a former girlfriend, shattering her cheekbone and damaging her eye socket, while another woman claimed he had raped and beaten her around 100 times.

He is also accused of raping and physically abusing his own sister when she was a child.

His mother charged that Sutton fled to France after she and an alleged victim confronted him.

She told The Sun: “When I heard he had been killed I felt utter relief, it was a massive burden off my back. I was just relieved he couldn’t hurt us or anyone again.

“‘He deserved to be shot like an animal — he was the biggest animal there was.”

A former girlfriend said she had “cried with relief” at this death.

 

His father denies the charges, as does his last girlfriend, a partner in his restaurant, who called the allegations wicked lies.

She added: “His friends know the real Marc. The Marc I knew and loved was a kind, happy, loving man who would do anything for anyone.”

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Local

Three California cities lead the list of the crappiest roads in the US; surprisingly, Los Angeles only ranks third, behind San Francisco and San Jose. Which is just one more reason why Bicycling rated LA as America’s worst bike city. And one more reason to vote no on Prop 6.

Don’t forget the WeHo Bicycle Coalition is hosting a free panel discussion tonight with BikinginLA title sponsor Jim Pocrass, along with representatives of the sheriff’s department, CHP and the City of West Hollywood.

Santa Monica celebrates a Halloween-themed Kidical Mass on the 27th.

 

State

A new SafeTREC website urges California bicyclists and pedestrians to map out where you experience collisions, near misses and safety hazards, as well as where you feel safe traveling by foot, bicycle or scooter.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The Redlands hit-and-run victim we mentioned yesterday was a popular crossing guard credited with touching countless lives; rather than an e-scooter user, as we initially reported, he was actually a longtime moped rider.

Goleta unanimously approves a new bicycle and pedestrian master plan intended to increase the town’s 4% mode share for both bikes and pedestrians.

Sounds like fun. Bakersfield bike riders will enjoy a Halloween full moon ride next Tuesday. That’s almost worth making the long drive through the fog. Almost.

 

National

Cycling Tips talks with a Boulder CO man who refurbishes — and yes, rides — vintage mountain bikes.

An Idaho website calls for a speed limit on ebikes and scooters on the city’s bike path — and charging a license fee for all bikes and scooters to pay for enforcement.

A Dallas writer complains that the former bike-riding editor of the city’s alt weekly now seems to hate bikes, saying that Dallas will never become a city of bicycle commuters.

An Albany NY writer says after a year, he’s still using his bike as his primary means of transportation, although the quality of the road makes a big difference.

Curbed says bicycles are a small, but vital part of New York’s plans to cope with transportation after a subway line is shut down for over a year of maintenance work.

A bike rider says he loves DC, but sometimes, riding in the town sucks. Something most of us can probably relate to, wherever we ride.

No, those all white bikes decorated with bats and jack-o-lanterns and skeletons in a DC suburb aren’t ghost bikes. At least, not that kind.

 

International

Apparently NIMBYs aren’t just an American phenomenon. Calgary residents fought what ended up being a highly popular bike and pedestrian bridge by claiming that if they wanted beauty, they’d travel to Paris. That attitude could explain why Angelenos love to visit walkable cities overseas, but fight them in their own neighborhoods.

No bias here. A British county councilor says bicyclists are dangerous and selfish, and it’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed, as he announces plans to ban bikes from pedestrian areas; he also called delivery riders idiots.

Britain will now add instructions on the Dutch Reach to the country’s driving handbook.

A Dutch website looks at how the country’s status as the world’s leading bicycle nation impacts society.

Ride a thousand miles along the former Iron Curtain from Berlin to Budapest for the low, low price of “just” $8,318.

Bicycling is booming in the capital of Latvia, as riders complain the city hasn’t kept up with the safe infrastructure they were promised. Sounds familiar.

A Palestinian woman says the best way to explore Palestine is by bike, as she works to promote bicycling among women, and change age-old perceptions that they can’t ride bikes.

Jerusalem plans to triple the amount of bike lanes in the city in just five years. Which sounds impressive until you realize they only have 26 miles of bike lanes right now.

Tired of waiting for officials to take action, South African bike riders painted warnings on the streets to alert riders to broken pavement caused by tree roots.

A British teenager may have to give up on an attempt to become the youngest person to bike around the world following the theft of his bike and gear in Australia, after traveling 18,000 miles through 17 countries.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews talks with Coors Classic mastermind Michael Aisner about how the race shaped the future of bike racing in the US. I was lucky enough to watch the amazing Coors Classic, and its predecessor the Red Zinger Classic, while growing up in Colorado.

Austrian pro Bernhard Eisel says he decided to retire three times as he recovered from surgery for a serious brain injury, before finally deciding to come back again next year.

Cycling Tips talks with the manager of Britain’s longest-running UCI cycling team, who calls it heartbreaking that the Continental level JLT-Condor team is closing down at the end of the year.

 

Finally…

Win the Nobel Prize, get your own bike rack. If you see proof of aliens on the moon, keep it to yourself — or don’t ride a bike years later.

And this is who we share the protected bike lane with.

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I confess, I’ve been pretty out of it this week. So let me thank John L for his generous contribution to support this site. And apologize for not doing it sooner. 

If you’d like to help keep BikinginLA coming your way every day, you can donate through PayPal or by using the Zelle app on your phone

Morning Links: Road raging drivers and pedestrians around the world, and a Montrose movement to reward riders

Let’s start off today with a pair of truly horrific road raging stories from the Boston area that once again drive home just who we share the roads with.

In the first, a tow truck driver is in critical condition following a fatal collision.

Just not from the crash.

After he struck and killed a woman as she was crossing the street, her son pulled out a knife and stabbed him five times, shouting “You killed my mom!”

The driver swore he didn’t see her as he ran around the truck trying to escape.

In the second, a road raging driver intentionally ran down a pair of scooter riders for the crime of not using the bike lane.

The victims can be seen clinging to the hood of the driver’s car as she flees after running over their scooters.

Fortunately, they only suffered minor injuries, and the driver was quickly captured, according to a Boston news site.

Pires, of Cambridge, was arrested and brought back to the Everett Police Department, where she was charged with four counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon; leaving the scene of an accident with personal injury and driving to endanger.

Steve forwards a photo of the ghost bike that was installed last night for the victim in Monday’s fatal crash in the San Fernando Valley; the victim still has not been publicly identified. 

Let that be another reminder to ride — and drive — safely and defensively at all times.

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Evidently, he was telling the truth.

A road raging London driver who told several bike riders he was driving a stolen car as he deliberately swerved at them, and threatened to run them over, has pled guilty to auto theft and dangerous driving, as well as a number of other charges.

Here’s the video of the assault to refresh your memory.

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Local

Montrose cyclist Sean Hall has started the No Braques movement to reward riders who push the limits, with cash out of his own pocket.

 

State

A map prepared by UC Davis shows where in California animals are most likely to end up as roadkill. Make sure the roads you ride aren’t on there. Because you don’t want to end up as roadkill, either.

The California Coastal Commission has approved plans to add a 10-foot wide multi-use path to an existing train trestle over the San Lorenzo River in Santa Cruz.

 

National

Bicycling looks at the problem of cultural appropriation in the bike industry, and four companies that are doing it right. The story they cite of Czech brand Apache Bicycles is seriously cringe inducing.

Caught on video: A Portland bike rider is nearly run down by someone driving in a two-way plastic-post protected bike lane without headlights.

A local Reno NV website visits the Interbike bike industry trade show to look at the latest products, including a stop at ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis’ cannabis-infused Floyd’s of Leadville booth. Am I the only one who continues to be amused by a former cyclist who was stripped of his title for doping getting into the pot business?

A Mashable writer joins in on a 600-mile ride from Irvine to Interbike on an ebike. But no, Irvine’s Brian Sarmiento was far from the first person to bike to the Vegas-based Interbike from out of town; I’ve known a number of people who rode from LA to Vegas for the show over the years.

Speaking of Reno, the city will dedicate a new bike path alongside a highway in honor of a woman who was killed on her way to a California bike race three years ago.

Santa Fe police have purchased a bike sonar device to enforce the city’s five-foot passing law; the device goes on an officer’s handlebars, and measures the distance to a passing car. We’ve tried to talk the LAPD into trying the same device, without any success so far.

A Colorado Springs CO newspaper displays its windshield bias with an editorial that calls on the city to stop impeding traffic by building bike lanes; readers have mixed opinions on their success. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

A Texas teenager refused to give up when her local city council wouldn’t listen, and went back a second time to demand safer streets after her friend was killed as he was riding his bike.

A Minneapolis woman fulfills a promise to herself by biking to work for the first time, and discovers she actually likes it.

A Detroit clothing store is teaming with a bike co-op to conduct a third annual bike drive; the drive has collected 400 bikes for local kids in its first two years.

Indianapolis sheriff’s deputies stopped a fleeing bike rider who failed to register as a sex offender by crashing into him head-on; bystanders accused the deputies of doing it on purpose.

A writer for Bicycle Times describes how the 275-mile Boston to New York Cycle for the Cause ride gave him hope during the AIDS crisis.

The owners of a mom-and-pop bike shop in Tennessee will lead a fundraising ride to fight human trafficking.

A Concord, New Hampshire paper calls for ticketing delivery vehicles blocking bike lanes.

 

International

No bias here. Bike Radar asks if shaved legs are hot or not. Never mind that some of their readers might be women who shave their legs for reasons that have nothing to do with bicycling.

The Conservative party leaders in Quebec intend to cut the size of Toronto’s city council, because “All (the) city council wants to do is build bicycle lanes.” Which seems like a pretty good reason to keep it just the way it is.

The Sun explains what’s going on with Saturday’s World Car Free Day. Which will be observed in Los Angeles by most people continuing to drive everywhere, as usual.

An Irish woman turned to bicycling to quit smoking, cut back on drinking and revamp her lifestyle.

Cyclist examines noteworthy classic bikes from Italian bikemaker Bianchi in words and pictures.

Photos of Israeli highways on Yom Kippur that look like CicLAvia.

Caught on video too: An Aussie bike rider is nearly run down by a motorist in an SUV who was driving in a bike lane.

Verge says Trump’s trade war with China could put the brakes on American bike riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News takes a deep dive into whether women could handle racing a three-week Grand Tour.

It’s been a year since study abroad company EF Education First rescued America’s longest-running WorldTour squad from extinction.

Bicycling profiles Rwanda’s first women’s pro cyclist.

 

Finally…

If you’ve been drinking underage, put a damn light on your bike — and don’t resist arrest. Yes, it’s against the law to run over people on bikes. No, really.

And if your local velodrome is closing, just buy it, dismantle it, move it and rebuild it.

Easy, right?

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The surprising generosity of BikinginLA readers this week continues to blow me away. So let me thank Steven K, Tyrone C and Gold Leaf Films for their generous donations to help support this site. 

As we’ve been saying all week, if everyone who visits this site today donated just $10, it would be more than enough to keep it going for a full year.

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Join the Militant Angeleno and BikinginLA for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour at the Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 CicLAvia on September 30th!

Just RSVP to [email protected] We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

Morning Links: Bay Area bike advocate busted for Biking While Black, and LADOT officer blocks a DTLA bike lane

Was a Richmond bike rider busted in Oakland for Biking While Black?

Najari Smith, the founder and executive director of non-profit group Rich City Rides, was handcuffed and taken into custody on Friday for the crime of playing amplified music while leading a group of kids on a celebratory ride, and forced to spend the weekend in jail.

Which at it’s worst is a violation of the vehicle code, and a just ticketable offense.

Like LA’s East Side Riders, Rich City Rides operates as a bike shop/co-op dedicated to building a better community by getting the people of the economically depressed area onto two wheels. And Smith is respected, if not beloved, as the peacemaking leader of that group.

In fact, Streetsblog reports that Smith was trying to calm young riders angered by the aggressive police tactics when he was arrested. And that he remained calm and respectful throughout, turning down his music when requested by officers.

Not that it appeared to make any difference.

According to Streetsblog, Oakland police issued a statement saying Smith was taken into custody for repeatedly refusing to provide identification after officers approached him for blocking an intersection. Even though that’s not what was written in the citation.

However, police in the East Bay area have a history of cracking down on groups of young black bike riders.

And a Stanford University study showed Oakland police ticketed black riders at six times the rate of white bicyclists, in a city that’s less than one-third black.

Photo shows Najari Smith with the trailer and sound system he was using when he was arrested.

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What does it mean when the people responsible for keeping drivers from blocking bike lanes are the ones blocking them?

In more ways than one.

A bike rider who prefers to remain anonymous forwarded this video of a confrontation with an LADOT Traffic Officer who not only stopped in a DTLA bike lane in heavy traffic, but passive aggressively stood next to her car refusing to move an inch so the rider could get by.

Maybe she was under no obligation to move until she was damn good and ready.

But is it too much to expect a little common courtesy from a city employee, when stepping aside for a few seconds wouldn’t have affected her job performance in the slightest?

Apparently so.

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Once again, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office plea bargains a serious crime down to a mere caress on the wrist, as a French citizen was sentenced to time served — a lousy 18 days — for ramming his SUV into a group of people in DTLA.

That’s despite facing up to eight years on the original five counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

Seriously, how can we expect drivers to take traffic crime seriously if the DA doesn’t?

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Awhile back, we linked to a story about a rapidly growing petition from an Australian anti-bike group that was calling for bicyclists to be required to ride single file.

Now Cycling Tips reveals the results of a months-long investigation in to the hidden face behind the Facebook group behind the petition.

And their surprising discovery that it may be a well-known cyclist who turned against the local cycling community, after most of the local group rides had turned against him.

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Local

Seriously? Public TV station KCET offers ten basic bike tips for a satisfying ride. And the first one is “Wear a helmet.” As I’ve noted before, I never ride without one. But bike helmets should be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails, never the first. Better advice would be telling people to ride defensively.

Keep Rowena Safe is asking for an all-hands on deck turnout for tonight’s meeting of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council’s Transportation and Neighborhood Safety Committee, to counter a suspected effort to undo the successful Rowena road diet.

It’s going to be a busy few months on SoCal streets, as Santa Monica Next announces details of October’s two-mile COAST open streets event in the coastal community. That comes one week after the epic CicLAvia celebrating the LA Phil’s 100th birthday, and a little more than a month after Long Beach gets in on the act.

 

State

Some people just don’t get it. A community planning group in Ramona wants San Diego County to prioritize improving traffic safety before building bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Never mind that building them is how you improve traffic safety.

You’re invited to re-imagine Downtown Ontario tonight with pop-up buffered bike lanes on Euclid Avenue, as well as extended sidewalks and parklets, followed by a free concert in the town square.

A San Jose sidewalk rider asks everyone to just chill out, because he says it’s not that bad, and the streets can be dangerous. Never mind that sidewalk riding is illegal in downtown San Jose, and riding on the sidewalk actually increases your risk of a collision.

 

National

The rich get richer. Portland gets a beautiful new two-way protected bikeway through an industrial zone, even if no one knows its there.

A San Diego native plans to ride an electric wheelchair across the Cascade Mountains through Washington State to call attention to improving accessibility to the outdoors; he was paralyzed when he crashed his bike into a tree ten years ago while he was a student at UC Santa Cruz.

One Tucson AZ letter writer insists not all people on bicycles are jerks, while another says some bike riders don’t use common sense — like walking their bikes across busy intersections. Sure. As soon as drivers get out and push their cars across them.

An Op-Ed in a Colorado newspaper says mountain bikes shouldn’t be banned from wilderness areas.

A Colorado triathlete recounts the story of the horrifying crash with a careless driver that left her severely injured — and how the police and press got the story wrong because they could only talk with the driver afterwards.

A Colorado town pats itself on the back for improving safety for bike riders — by banning them from riding on sidewalks in the central business district.

Witness the Ofo graveyard, where yellow Dallas dockless bikeshares go to die. You’d think they could donate some of those bikes to homeless or underprivileged people. But evidently, you’d be wrong.

 

International

CNN looks at how children around the world get to school. Hint: Kids in the US don’t ride bikes. Or walk, for that matter.

A bike rider in British Columbia suffers potentially life-threatening injuries when he’s hit by a driver. But all the local paper seems to care about is the road that was closed as a result.

Calgary bicyclists complain after the city botched several bike path detours, forcing riders onto dangerous streets. Sort of like the repeated closures of the LA River bike path around Griffith Park, part of which remains closed through next year.

The Royal Canadian Mounties have recovered ten racing bikes stolen from a Malaysian track cycling team last month, hidden in an abandoned property outside of Edmonton.

An English bike rider wants to thank the bystanders who lifted a car off his leg following a crash.

A British children’s TV host is offering a reward for the return of his stolen ebike, which he named after his brother who died last year after suffering from Down’s Syndrome and dementia.

The New York Times offers a moving look at Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan, the American bike tourists murdered by ISIS terrorists in Tajikistan. Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

Israel announces plans to build nearly 375 miles of bike paths to connect with existing paths, forming a 750-mile bikeway stretching across the country.

An Australian city attempts to save lives by experimenting with the equivalent of an 18 mph speed limit.

 

Competitive Cycling

The women’s winner of last year’s Colorado Classic will join the winner of the 2018 women’s Amgen Tour of California, and over 80 other riders, as she attempts to defend her title in this year’s race.

Aussie cyclist Simon Gerrans decides to call it a career after 14 years, with wins in Milan-San Remo, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Santos Tour Down Under, as well as stage wins in all three Grand Tours.

Maybe Gerrans shouldn’t be the only one to retire. Germany’s Tony Martin’s comeback from a fractured cervical vertebrae is on hold after his doctors say another fall right now could be fatal.

Scottish residents complain about being trapped in their homes by the time trial in the European road cycling championships.

 

Finally…

Who says you need a truck to move your belongings to a new home? Call it whatever you want, a fanny pack by any other name is still a fanny pack.

And this is not the proper way to carry a bike on your car.

Credit Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery with the link.

 

Arrests announced in the double South LA hit-and-runs that killed Frederick Frazier, and injured Quatrell Stallings

No Morning Links today due to today’s breaking news.

I’ll try to catch up tomorrow with a rare Saturday edition; if not, we’ll see you on Monday. 

………

We finally know a little more about the arrest in the hit-and-run death of Frederick Frazier.

Frazier, known as Woon to his friends, was killed on April 10th as he rode near the intersection of Manchester and Normandie in the Manchester Square neighborhood of South LA.

Twenty-three-year old Mariah Kandise Banks was initially arrested after turning herself in on May 11th.

However, KTLA-5 reports the LA District Attorney’s office referred the case back to the police for further investigation.

Banks was taken into custody again on Wednesday; Streetsblog LA reports she will likely be charged with vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run.

LAPD officers said she traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the crash.

Here’s how Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman described it.

From the surveillance footage, it appears abundantly clear that Banks was speeding.

She was also flying through a gutter lane peppered with parked cars along the length of Manchester, meaning that, at the very least, her intent was a self-centered one: to get around other vehicles she saw as moving too slowly. To do so, she was likely weaving in and out of the gutter lane as quickly as possible – there was even a car parked in the lane thirty or forty yards up from where Frazier’s body lay.

She deliberately put herself in a position where her only options were to slow as she approached parked cars until there was an opening in the adjacent lane that she could move into or to intermittently accelerate and weave recklessly at high speed.

According to the police, Banks admitted she was driving the SUV, and told investigators she simply panicked and fled.

Which does not explain why police found her formerly white Porsche Cayenne painted black in an obvious attempt to disguise it, apparently with a brush, when they served a search warrant in Moreno Valley.

Banks called police a few hours after that to turn herself in.

The LA Times reports police are still investigating, and other arrests are possible.

Which seems appropriate, since initial reports indicated there were two passengers in the car, who both failed to come forward after the crash. And there may be others who aided in the cover-up.

Remarkably, Frazier’s mother has forgiven Banks, according to the Times.

“I have compassion for the lady,” Owens said “I can’t imagine what it’s like for her, I can’t imagine what it feels like living with this.

“There’s no good ending to it,” she added.

KTLA reports she had previously said Frazier had Type 1 diabetes, and rode a bike to manage his weight.

“He worked full time and he has a car but he wanted to get his miles in, so he rode his bike,” she said at the time. “He didn’t deserve to die because he rode his bike.”

No one does.

There’s an effort led by some of Frazier’s friends to get protected bike lanes on Manchester — as called for in both the city’s mobility and Vision Zero plans — in response to his death.

But as usual, it only comes after it’s already too late.

Especially for Frederick Frazier’s mother and his pregnant girlfriend.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for video of the press conference. Top photo from Facebook via Streetsblog. 

………

Police also made an arrest in the intentional hit-and-run that followed the next day.

The LAPD took 19-year old Alana Ealy into custody on May 30th on suspicion of attempted murder following a nearly two-month manhunt.

Ealy had been caught on video arguing with bicyclists who had blocked the intersection of Manchester and Normandie on April 11th to protest Frazier’s death.

She was then filmed plowing directly into Quatrell Stallings as he blocked the intersection with his bike, and nearly hit a woman as she was crossing the street with her dogs.

Police found her car the next day, but were unable to locate Ealy.

According to Streetsblog’s Sulaiman,

They were able to identify her from images that had been captured of her altercation with cyclists and forensic evidence gathered from the car. But they speculated that she could be hiding in one of several different locations. Ealy was finally located by the Fugitive Task Force on the evening of May 30. According to LASD records, however, despite being charged with attempted murder, she was released on $50,000 bail in the early hours of June 1. No court date has yet been set in that case.

Meanwhile Stallings is still recovering from injuries that include head trauma, a broken leg and ankle, head injuries and surgery to repair his knee.

Sadly, the crowdfunding page to help pay his medical expenses has raised less than $500 of the $20,000 goal.

Morning Links: Bike rider injured in hit-and-run protest; driver charged with murder in Tour de Palm Springs death

Just one day after Frederick Frazier was killed in a brutal hit-and-run in South LA, another rider was struck in the same intersection.

During a protest over Frazier’s death.

And yes, that driver fled the scene, too.

A group of Frazier’s friends gathered to block the intersection at Manchester and Normandie with their bicycles to call attention to the death and demand justice for their fallen friend.

The protest got out of hand after several people attacked an LAPD SUV when police arrived to break it up, smashing its windows with their bikes.

According to Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman, the young men were angered after graphic photos of the man they knew as Woon were posted online overnight, showing their friend splayed out on the street as another rider attempted to comfort him in his final moments.

A woman in a tan car, who had previously gotten out to argue with one of the protesters, forced her way through the intersection, running a red light in the process, and deliberately slammed into a rider identified as Quatrell Stallings, throwing him into the air.

She then gunned her engine and fled the scene as Stallings stumbled to the curbed.

He was taken to a local hospital; reports are he was not seriously injured.

Now police are looking for two hit-and-run drivers.

One with a $50,000 bounty on his or her head for leaving Frazier to die in the street; another who could — and should — be facing a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

A memorial ride will be held for Frazier this Friday.

Thanks to Evan Burbridge for the heads-up.

………

A Desert Hot Springs man has received a well-deserved murder charge in the death of Washington man participating in this year’s Tour de Palm Springs.

Twenty-one-year old Ronnie Ramon Huerta Jr. is accused of driving up to 100 mph while stoned before slamming into 49-year old Mark Kristofferson, killing him almost instantly. He was taken into custody after the arraignment hearing, and held on a $1 million bond.

He’s also charged with driving on a suspended license and driving under the influence of drugs.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the link.

………

The LAPD’s Van Nuys Division misses the mark with a bike safety awareness flier.

The piece tells bicyclists to “Always ride in single file,” even though there’s nothing in state law that prohibits riding two or more abreast. And riding abreast is often safer in lanes that are too narrow to share with a motor vehicle by increasing visibility and preventing unsafe passes.

The piece also says riders should walk their bikes across busy intersections, which increases the risk by decreasing mobility and exposing riders to careless and distracted drivers for a longer period of time.

And never mind that a bike helmet may be a good idea, but it’s not required for anyone 18 or older.

But if the point is to increase awareness of bike safety, where is the companion piece telling drivers to always watch for bikes, pass with at least a three foot distance, and open doors with your right hand to prevent dooring?

………

Local

Metro released their draft strategic plan for the next ten years, as they transition from a transit provider to focusing on the entire mobility ecosystem.

CiclaValley explains what it’s like getting cut off in the bike lane by a Metro bus driver in DTLA.

A writer in Azusa encounters a 43-year old gang member at his local bike shop, realizing that bikes bring everyone together.

 

State

A pair of UC Santa Barbara graduates are nearing the completion of their self-supported bike tour from California to Columbia.

The bizarre anti-bike hysteria continues in San Luis Obispo, where the city council is accused of dirty tricks after re-affirming plans for a bike boulevard. Meanwhile, older SLO residents are up in arms over plans for an e-bikeshare system with a hub on the coast, worrying about whether they’ll be run off the sidewalk.

The San Francisco Chronicle shares the five best bike rides around Santa Cruz.

Testimony in a preliminary hearing fills in some of the blanks in the death of a San Francisco woman run down in Golden Gate Park last year, one of two people killed in the city by hit-and-run drivers just hours apart.

 

National

Another good piece from Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, who considers the ethics of breaking traffic laws, noting that obeying the letter of the law isn’t always the safest way to ride.

Wired says Uber’s acquisition of dockless ebike provider Jump means they want to control every way you move, while Bicycling examines dockless bikeshare in the wake of Uber’s entry into the field.

Curbed says cities need to step up to the challenge of controlling streets and sidewalks as bikeshare and shared scooters begin to take over.

Don’t count on glowing infrastructure lighting the streets anytime soon.

A local news site says Honolulu drivers are complaining about the loss of a few hundred parking spaces to make room for bike lanes, somehow blaming that for the traffic congestion in the city.

No bias here. Police in Portland OR ignored a road rage assault on a bike rider that left him with a broken jaw, refusing to even file a report on the case.

A local weekly says Portland’s bike renaissance begins now.

A Lincoln, Nebraska man gets three years behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run that left a city councilmember from a nearby town lying badly injured in the street.

The Catholic bishop of Davenport, Iowa is one of us; he’ll be riding across the state in this year’s RAGBRAI.

Three Illinois priests are riding across their Diocese to promote religious vocations.

Seriously? A road raging North Carolina man gets a gentle caress on the wrist for punching a bicyclist in an attack caught on video, as he’s sentenced to just three days behind bars. That will certainly send a message — one that says go ahead and attack other people on the roads.

 

International

A British man has been charged in the death of a 91-year old cyclist, who was killed while trying to set a national age record.

A transportation technology project from the University of Melbourne says to improve safety and performance on our streets, we’ll all have to be connected in a single network including cars, buses, pedestrians and bicyclists.

An Aussie ultracyclist set a new record by riding 555 miles in 24 hours.

 

Competitive Cycling

The head of cycling’s governing body says women cyclists deserve more than they’ve been getting, and he dreams of a Paris-Roubaix Feminine.

An autopsy concludes that Michael Goolaerts suffered a heart attack while riding in Paris-Roubaix last Sunday; there had been speculation that his heart stopped as a result of the fall.

Writing for Cycling Tips, Jonathan Vaughters reminds us that bike racing is a dangerous sport, where tragedy can happen any day.

 

Finally…

Hit a pothole on your bike, and get a bill for breaking it. Your next wheel could weigh ten pounds and make riding easier.

And no, dockless bikes don’t belong in trees.

 

Morning Links: Dennis Hindman found safe, terrorist attacks bike riders in New York, and Bruins joins Bonin’s staff

Let’s start with the good news.

According to his sister, longtime LA bike advocate Dennis Hindman has been found safe in a San Gabriel hospital after being missing for two months.

Apparently, the Toluca Lake resident has been in the hospital for the entire time he’s been missing.

No word on Hindman’s condition yet, or why his relatives were never notified.

However, a hospital stay of that duration is never a good sign; let’s keep him in our thoughts and prayers until we have more information.

………

This time, it was us.

At least eight people were killed when a terrorist claiming an allegiance with ISIS drove 20 blocks down a New York bike path, leaving crumpled bikes and bodies in his path.

At least eleven others were injured.

Five of those killed were Argentine tourists who were visiting the city to celebrate their 30th high school reunion. One of the dead, and three of the people injured, were from Belgium.

The killer was shot by police after crashing his rental truck and exiting waving pellet and paintball guns; at last report he was hospitalized in grave condition after undergoing surgery.

The 29-year old native of Uzbekistan has been a legal resident of the US since 2010; he would have been unaffected by the recent travel bans.

The Associated Press lists other attacks where vehicles have been used as weapons.

Thanks to John Dammann for the heads-up.

………

Congratulations to former LACBC Planning and Policy Director Eric Bruins, who is joining CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin’s staff as Transportation Policy Director, replacing longtime aide Paul Backstrom.

Or maybe we should offer our congratulations to Bonin for landing him. And to the people of CD11 for the exceptional hard work and dedication they’re about to receive.

Let’s hope they have the good sense to appreciate it.

………

Nothing like rounding a corner in San Clemente, and nearly getting hit head-on by a driver on the wrong side of the road.

Although that little honk from the scofflaw motorist was a nice touch.

Credit Eric Fleetwood for the video, and thanks to David Drexler for forwarding it.

………

There may be a lot of cyclists looking for work soon, as UCI’s new president calls for reducing the size of pro cycling teams to just six riders, after next year’s reduction to eight.

And former LA pro Phil Gaimon offers the latest in his Worst Retirement Ever series, as he tackles Colorado’s legendary Mt. Evans Hillclimb, the highest paved road in North America.

………

Local

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Susanna Schick, who writes about Move LA’s efforts to keep the city moving, while noting that every time she’s tried to push back against traffic, the cars push back harder.

Selena Gomez is one of us, as she stops to talk with fans while riding her bike in Studio City.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare celebrates its second birthday with a day of free rides this Saturday.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson writes movingly about his friend Rob Dollar, who was killed by an allegedly drunk and stoned teenage driver while riding outside of Phoenix on Sunday.

Long Beach’s Beach Streets wants to know what you thought about this past weekend’s open streets event in the city.

 

State

California’s new twelve cent gas tax increase will kick in today.

San Juan Capistrano will widen Del Obispo Street to remove a bottleneck, adding a lane in each direction, along with bike lanes on either side.

Orange County will begin restricting access to the Santa Ana River Trail in order to control the homeless camps that have sprung up along the trail; starting today the path will be closed from 6 pm to 7 am through the end of February, then 9 pm to 7 am until next October 31st.

San Diego’s city council makes the tough choice to remove parking to make room for bike lanes on University Avenue as part of the city’s Vision Zero program, reducing a gap in the city’s bike network. Meanwhile, the city approved a new connector road that will split existing neighborhoods, which would help complete a regional bike network, even though they’ve failed to track whether they’re meeting ambitious bicycling and transit goals to reduce greenhouse gasses.

An Arroyo Grande man says bike riders aren’t paying the “overinflated vehicle registration fees” car owners do, and suggests an annual $75 fee to ride a bike on the road. Never mind that bikes cause virtually no wear and tear on the road. Or that most bike riders already pay those same vehicle registration fees for one or more motor vehicles.

A middle-aged man was shot in the face while riding his bike near a San Jose light rail station. Thanks to Lynn Ingram for the link.

San Francisco police are looking for a pair of brutal bike-riding San Francisco hat thieves.

 

National

A TV website lists ten things you probably didn’t know about American Flyers.

NACTO says a future of autonomous cars calls for a transportation blueprint that puts people first.

Forbes asks if private dockless bikeshare will become a fixture on college campuses.

Lil Kim is sort of one of us, too, as she teaches her three-year old daughter how to ride a bike.

The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for Colorado’s bike-riding bank robber, the Sneaky Cyclist Bandit. No word on what makes him so sneaky, though.

No bias here. A Denver TV station says the city’s efforts to become more bike-friendly may have hit a snag, because drivers don’t like a new sidewalk, calling it twice as wide as it needs to be.

A Dallas writer says the city can’t handle dockless bikeshare, where abandoned bikes are littering the sidewalks.

Chicago cab drivers are no longer required to drop passengers off at the curb, reducing their liability if someone doors a bicyclist.

Minneapolis has a bicycle-riding, unicorn-costumed candidate for mayor. Maybe Garcetti should consider that approach if he runs for president in 2020.

A Detroit bike co-op gave a new bike to a man with undisclosed medical problems, after the bike he used as his only form of transportation was stolen when he stopped to rest for a few minutes.

A Louisville KY bicyclist declares victory after authorities dropped charges of running a red light and obstructing traffic for not riding in a bike lane; he had claimed there was debris in the bike lane that could have given him a flat.

A New York bus driver was charged with a misdemeanor for the death of a bike rider last year, the first bikeshare rider killed in the city. But at least the driver honked before running him over.

 

International

You can now own your very own $815,000 cycling watch, which comes complete with a limited edition Colnago bike. For that price, it should also come with your own private bikeway to ride it on.

A bike-raging Toronto bike rider gets 18 months probation for an incident caught on video last August, in which a taxi driver intentionally turned into him after he had repeatedly slapped the cab and reached inside for the keys.

A road-raging London driver gets two years for intentionally running over a bike rider, breaking his back — then getting out of his car and telling the injured rider he’d run over him again if he had to.

Apparently they take repeated DUIs seriously in the UK, at least if you kill someone. A woman with three previous drunk driving arrests got eight years for the death of 17-year BMX rider after downing three pints of beer.

Caught on video: A British bicyclist confronts a motorist for driving on the sidewalk to get around a traffic diversion, who was none too happy about it.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t shoot your gun in the air while riding stoned, especially with a previous felony conviction. Your next ebike could run on hydrogen.

And you can now ride your bike through Graceland.

No, not that Graceland.

……..

Thank you to Alice Strong for her very generous donation to help support this site; you can make a donation anytime to help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day using the PayPal link.

 

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

……….

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.

 

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