Tag Archive for vehicular assault

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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

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

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Weekend Links: 3 years for vehicular assault, LA’s Mobility Plan passes PlanComm, and CicLAvia Pasadena

Three years hardly seems long enough.

But it will have to do.

According to the Daily Breeze, William Thomas Kelly reached a plea deal that will keep him behind bars for the next three years for his drunken road rage rampage through the Palos Verdes area, in which he deliberately used his car to assault a cyclist and smash into parked cars.

Kelly reportedly hit one car, then backed up to hit it again and drove on to sideswipe a parked car. He then hit the pedal of a bicyclist; when the rider yelled at him, he backed up and used his car to knock the rider and his bike into the bushes, then drove back and forth over his bike. He was later found passed out with a BAC of at least 0.11 after crashing into a gated fence.

Hopefully, the plea will include a condition that he never drive again.

……..

The LA Planning Commission voted Wednesday to approve the city’s mobility plan, including a slightly scaled back version of the 2010 bike plan and a commitment to Vision Zero.

Streetsblog reports the planned Westwood Blvd bike lane survived an attack by a representative of Councilmember Paul Koretz, while Commissioner Richard Katz questioned whether bike facilities belong on the street at all.

Katz said he supported expanding the bicycle network, but “we will never be Boulder or Davis.”

Not with thinking like that, anyway.

……..

CicLAvia offers a list of activities along Sunday’s Pasadena route, while KNBC-4, KCET and the Pasadena Star-News looks forward to it. Note to Star-News: Unless the director of Walden School is selling something as he rides to work, the word you want is pedals, not peddles.

Feeder rides — and a walk — are available from throughout the area. The Militant Angeleno provides his must-read guide to the Rose City route; seriously, never go to any CicLAvia without reading the Militant’s detailed and insightful guides first. Time Out gives their thoughts on Sunday’s event, while CiclaValley provides a handful of tips and a handy checklist of everything you need to bring.

And yes, bikes are optional; this should be the most walkable CicLAvia yet.

In honor of CicLAvia, KPCC will broadcast a one-hour show all about bikes at 10 am today and again on Sunday; you can listen live online.

And the San Gabriel Tribune says every weekend should be like CicLAvia in every downtown in the San Gabriel Valley and Whittier areas. Or maybe just everywhere.

I’m not going to be able to make this one, so let us all know how it goes.

……..

I’m hearing nothing but good things about the new green separated bike lanes in Redondo Beach, which includes some of the area’s first bicycle traffic signals.

But the smartest thing they did was put sharrows on the roadway next to it for riders who want to go faster or avoid the bikeway crowds on busy weekends.

Both Ted Faber and Jim Lyle sent photos.

Photo by Ted Faber

Photo by Ted Faber; note the sharrows on the street to the right

Photo by Jim Lyle; note the sharrows on the street to the right

Photo by Jim Lyle

photo by Jim Lyle

photo by Jim Lyle

……..

LGBT site Frontiers Media looks at the bike scene in the City of Angeles, with brief overview of bicycling in the city.

They go on to list five places every LA bike enthusiast should know, along with seven gadgets and gizmos for geared-up Angelenos. Although I wouldn’t call a $3,750 Cervelo a gadget. And I sure as hell wouldn’t call it a mountain bike.

……..

The latest bike racing rumors involve mini-motors in the pro pelaton, as Ryder Hesjedal takes offense at having his bike checked to make sure he’s not motor doping.

Former Giro champ Damiano Cunego is out of this years race with a broken collarbone, while Contador continues to hold the leader’s jersey. And no, he didn’t have a motor in his bike, either, but he did command some respect on Thursday.

Meanwhile, former pro and ’97 TdF winner Jan Ulrich faces up to three years in prison for a DUI collision that injured two people.

Closer to home, next year’s US pro cycling championship will move from Chattanooga to Winston-Salem NC.

……..

New bicycle maker Brilliant will ship you a steel frame bike for $300, as long as you’re willing to assemble it yourself. And don’t expect your LBS to fix it for you if you screw it up.

Then again, it might be easier to just print your next ti bike, or at least the handlebars.

Or maybe you’d prefer a steam powered bike.

……..

Local

Streetsblog gives us part two of their interview with retiring UCLA parking maven Donald Shoup.

The LACBC interviews super bike volunteer Wayne “Ridetime” Howard, while Bicycling profiles Coolass Mike Bowers and his efforts to put 1,000 bikes in the hands of foster kids.

Malibu city council committees approve the 850-page PCH Safety Study, which calls for 130 safety improvements along the dangerous coast highway, including bike lanes where they don’t conflict with street parking. God forbid a parking space should be sacrificed in the name of safety.

The LA Weekly profiles an Oakland-based theater company that’s traveling across the country by bike; they’ll perform at the Santa Monica Pier on the 1st, before moving on the San Diego and eventually making their way to New York.

A new proposal to replace the much-hated plans to complete the 710 Freeway includes light rail and a multi-lane boulevard complete with busways and a separated bike path.

The first phase of Santa Monica’s MANGo neighborhood greenway officially opens today.

Long Beach is officially opening the new pedestrian walkway on the beach today, which promises to improve safety on the beachfront bike path by separating bikes from people on foot. Something Santa Monica desperately needs to do.

Your last chance to weigh in on the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge could come this Wednesday before the Public Works Committee; the full city council often doesn’t allow public comments before taking a vote, especially if someone is likely to disagree with their pre-determined decisions.

 

State

A Tustin man is under arrest for breaking the window of a bike shop and stealing an adult-sized tricycle; he was in the process of stealing another bike a mile away when caught.

San Diego held their rain-delayed Bike to Work Day Friday.

San Diego’s North County is sprouting new sharrows; the story reports that sharrows on the Coast Highway in Solano Beach dropped average speeds by 10 mph without increasing congestion. Nice that they’re using us for rolling speed bumps, though.

A Marine vet who lost his legs in Afghanistan will set off from San Diego Monday for a 65-day ride across the US on a hand-cranked ‘bent.

A legal opinion concludes that the planned 50-mile multi-use path through the Coachella Valley qualifies for tax funds as a roadway because electric golf carts will be allowed to use it.

A gang member is under arrest for stabbing a bike riding Redlands art student in the face.

San Francisco’s bike share system is expanding from 700 to 7,000 bikes throughout the Bay Area.

As if the internet isn’t killing enough of their business, now Bay Area bike messengers are being targeted by bike thieves.

The new Marin bicycling museum opens to the public on Saturday, June 6th, with nearly 200 years of bike history, including the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame; a local group celebrates by calling for a crackdown on Marin off-road riders.

Modesto is working to convert itself to model bike-friendly city for everyone on two wheels.

 

National

A new infographic from People for Bikes shows many of the assumptions about women and bicycling are wrong, while Bicycling suggests 10 ways bike shops can be more welcoming to women. But the biggest barrier to greater diversity on bikes may be access to safer infrastructure.

Four cities are racing to build the first working protected intersection in the US. And no, Los Angeles isn’t one of them.

Portland parents launch a national PAC to force apologists for traffic violence out of office. About damn time.

A local motorcycle club plans to throw volleyballs at speeding Spokane sheriff’s deputies to protest the death of a 15-year old bicycle rider, after investigators conclude their patrol car didn’t hit the teen’s bike. Note to Spokane County Sheriff’s Department: It’s not unusual for bike riders to go over the handlebars in a panic stop without anyone actually hitting them; that doesn’t mean the driver who forced the panic stop isn’t responsible.

Proof bike riders aren’t always the good guys. Colorado state police are looking for a bicyclist who caused a motorcycle rider to wipeout near my hometown; a witness reports the rider veered in front of the motorbike and slowed down, causing the victim to lose control and be thrown from his bike, then just turned around and rode away without stopping to help. Jerk.

To no one’s surprise, the fatal shooting of a Colorado cyclist has officially been linked to the random shooting of a driver on the nearby I-25.

Albuquerque becomes the latest city to get bike share before LA; officials hope the program will help revitalize the downtown area.

A Texas bike rider discovers a casket, presumably with the body still inside, along a bike path after the recent floods.

Michigan traffic engineers take road diet to the extreme, proposing a street with a single lane shared by drivers traveling in both directions, and bike lanes on either side; drivers are supposed to safely merge into the bike lanes when they meet a car coming in the opposite direction. Anyone want to guess how that will work in real life?

Nice story from Ohio, as a 5th Grader saved the rewards he got in school for good behavior to buy his younger brother a bike — even though he didn’t have one himself. When teachers and administrators found out, they took up a collection to buy him one, too.

A Notre Dame dean and physics professor has ridden across the country every summer for the last five years to raise funds for rare disorders.

While the rest of New York’s media was focused on a bike riding neurological researcher killed by a hit-and-run driver who was fleeing the police, the Post saved its front page for a scofflaw cyclist out for a ride with his son.

Virginia’s Bicycle Bandit faces up to 100 years in prison for robbing a series of banks before pedaling — not peddling — to make his getaway.

A Baton Rouge driver turns himself in five days after he fatally stuck a bike rider. Which presumably would have given him plenty of time to sober up.

 

International

Bike Score ranks the least bike friendly cities in Canada.

A new Canadian study show wide traffic lanes make for more dangerous streets.

Five years after Vancouver merchants fought separated bike lanes, they’d now fight if anyone tried to remove them, according to the leader of a local business association.

A cyclist from the UK will attempt to break the seven day record by riding over 1,800 miles in a single week.

Yes, the UK’s new 20 mph speed limits can reduce injury collisions, but only if drivers actually observe them; a study shows the lower limit reduced speeds by just 1 mph in one city.

The acting leader of the British Labour party calls for a ban on large trucks during peak traffic hours to protect bike riders. Meanwhile, rear- and side-facing cameras on those same trucks could save the lives of cyclists and pedestrians, if they’d actually use them.

Somewhere between 50 to 100 bystanders teamed together to lift a double decker bus — yes, a bus — off a critically injured Brit unicycle rider.

Scottish lawyers warn about the danger to cyclists crossing Edinburgh’s tram tracks; one firm alone claims to represent nearly 100 such cases.

An Irish Paralympic cyclist is raising funds for a new leg in hopes of making the podium in Rio next year.

A New Zealand cyclist is attempting to circumnavigate the country in just three months, riding over 6,000 miles to raise funds for an ambulance company.

Sydney, Australia officials go the wrong way, making the city more dangerous for cyclists by reneging on a promise to replace a bike lane scheduled for removal.

A Bangkok bike commuter says he’s tired of weak support for bicycling, as well as suggestions that bike riders belong on an off-road recreational path instead of commuting.

 

Finally…

Actor Matthew Modine got his start with a bike left behind when someone smashed his grownup lemonade stand. The battle between cars and bikes has been going on a long time; the first recorded collision between two vehicles was between a bike and a car back in 1896.

And be sure to look up every now and then when you ride.

……..

One last note.

Recently, I mentioned a moving piece from Zócalo Public Square in which Aurelio Jose Berrera wrote of getting up early a few days a week to ride out in search of homeless people huddled in the doorways and alleys of our city, his bike loaded down with donated food to hand out to those in need.

His story reminded me of a saint whose heart was similarly filled with compassion for a homeless stranger.

So I was surprised to open my laptop the other day, and discover an email from Berrera thanking me. According to his message, what I wrote, along with a handful of other stories about his efforts, helped inspire Petaluma-based Yuba Bicycles to donate a Mundo cargo bike to make his volunteer work a little easier.

According to a Yuba press release he attached, 

“Jose is an honorable, kind and humble man whose generous spirit and desire to help others is an example for all of us,” says Benjamin Sarrazin, founder and owner of Yuba Bicycles. “Yuba is proud to help Jose by providing a cargo bike that will hopefully enable him to more easily carry out his mission. He is truly a hero.”

I couldn’t agree more.

But there’s more than one hero here.

Yuba deserves a round of thanks for caring enough to give a bike to help those so many of us don’t even seem to see. As does everyone who contributes to help Berrera help them.

I’m not sure how big a role I really played in helping him get the new bike.

But his email made my week.

 

Morning Links: Serial hit-and-run driver allegedly attacks three in Venice, including two people on bikes

Sometimes, the news barely makes the news.

Especially if there are bikes involved.

Yo! Venice reports that three people — two of them riding bikes — may have been intentionally targeted by a hit-and-run driver Saturday morning.

According to the website, a cyclist was riding with friends across the intersection of Speedway and Venice around 10:30 am when a red Honda CRV clipped the back tire of his bike; witnesses at a nearby restaurant reported the driver didn’t even hit his brakes before speeding off.

As the victim and his friends gave chase down Speedway, they called out a warning as they saw him approach another rider. After the second cyclist pulled to the side of the road, the driver appeared to intentionally veer towards him, knocking him to the ground and leaving him with a cut on his left side, his mangled bike lying in the roadway.

The site reports the driver then ran over a third victim around 25th and Speedway; no word on whether that person was riding or on foot. Both of the last two victims were transported to a local hospital.

The driver was taken into custody later that day.

Yet somehow, despite the serial hit-and-run and the apparent vicious nature of the alleged attack, the story failed to make a much of a dent in the local media.

Even though it’s reminiscent of another allegedly intentional attack in which a driver plowed through tourists on the crowded Venice boardwalk just feet from Saturday’s incident.

KCBS-2 was the only major media outlet to pick up the story, confirming that two victims, possibly cyclists, suffered substantial, but non-life threatening injuries.

The TV station also reports that the suspect was arrested when witnesses were able to provide police with the Honda’s license number.

Frighteningly, police say he knew he’d struck people when they contacted him, and that he did not appear to be intoxicated.

Thanks to Joe Ryan for the heads-up.

………

Urbanful lists five fun social bike rides around the US, including our own CicLAvia; the next one walks and rolls through Pasadena’s Old Town on May 31st.

………

Local

CiclaValley offers a recap of Thursday’s Griffith Park Advisory Meeting, where the recent opening to cars of popular biking, hiking and horse riding route Mt. Hollywood Dr. was discussed; Streetsblog’s Joe Linton provides a detailed report on the meeting.

Work begins on the city’s first parking-protected bike lane as part of the Great Streets program on Reseda Blvd.

Writing for Orange 20 Bikes, Richard Risemberg says more and better road diets are the solution to trash bins blocking the bike lane. That’s been a long and recurring problem in the City of Angels, even though it’s illegal to block a bike lane, period.

A San Dimas stage race brought road racers from around the world, while mountain bikers race around Castaic Lake.

 

State

No bias here, as a San Diego TV station says plans for a bike lane through the Hillcrest neighborhood would destroy “prime” parking spaces.

Sad news from San Diego, as a 47-year old bike rider isn’t expected to survive after being shot in the city’s East Village neighborhood.

Mountain bikers are overwhelming the 20,000-acre Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, described as the Louvre for off-roaders.

No bias here either, as a San Francisco website accuses a seriously injured cyclist of smashing into a car on a Highway 101 onramp.

A 27-year old woman is honored as one of the Outstanding Women of Monterey County for her role in Ciclovia Salinas.

A Bay Area woman has taken over 25,000 kids back to nature on mountain bikes, often for the first time; her Trips for Kids non-profit now has 90 chapters around the world.

Seriously? A Petaluma website seems shocked that anyone would ride a century, while calling a bicycle seat the world’s most excruciating sitting device.

 

National

Bicycling lists 10 famous people who worked as bike messengers, nine of whom took me by surprise.

Two Yuma AZ cyclists were hit by a car, one injured critically, by a driver with a suspended license who admitted he just wasn’t paying attention.

A Utah cyclist on a training ride with a group of 100 other riders was somehow hit and killed by a semi-truck traveling in the same direction even though neither appeared to be distracted; a GoFundMe account has been set up to pay her funeral expenses.

Rocky Mountain National Park will open to mountain bikes for the first time.

Some people just don’t get the benefits of bike tourism; Kansas commissioners question why they would want a US Bike Route besmirching their county, especially if they have to pay for the signs.

A Chicago rider is suing after she was doored by a police officer while riding in a marked bike lane; naturally, the cop blames the victim.

The field is set for the Little 500 made famous by Breaking Away after qualifying for the men’s and women’s races.

 

International

A cyclist in his 80s rides over 6,200 miles across Canada, despite Parkinson’s and macular degeneration.

A new British study says bike riders are healthier and less stressed than non-riders. But while biking may be the new golf, London professionals are still afraid of the city’s streets.

Good read from the Guardian, saying what’s lacking from Lance’s attempt at rehabilitation is humility. If Armstrong really wanted to rebuild his reputation, he could start be becoming an advocate for bike safety.

We only seem to hear about pedestrians injured in collisions with cyclists, but the bike riders often get the worst of it. That was the case with woman in a London park, who was seriously injured when she collided with a runner.

That Brit bike rider attempting to ride over 75,000 miles this year was on target, riding a minimum of 205 mile a day; however, his attempt may be in jeopardy after his ankle was broken in a collision with a moped.

Danish bike riders get their own bike-through McDonalds, but only for a limited time. Sort of like McRibs.

 

Finally…

If you’re using a bike as a getaway vehicle following a burglary, it’s probably not a good idea to have a stolen weed-eater sticking out of your backpack. Put Carlos Santana in the Interested but Concerned category, as the guitar great is afraid to ride his new bike because of what happened to Bono, who fears he may never play guitar again after his solo bicycling crash in Central Park.

And a French mountain biker has set a new world record of over 138 mph.

Downhill, of course.

 

No justice for a victim of road rage; hit-and-run victims urged join Damien Kevitt at Critical Mass next week

Evidently, tire tracks aren't sufficient proof of getting run over.

Evidently, tire tracks aren’t sufficient proof of getting run over.

Just a couple quick notes this morning.

First up, a painful reminder that justice for cyclists remains elusive, even here in relatively enlightened and bronze-level bike friendly Los Angeles.

You may recall last September we told the story of a bike rider who was harassed by a driver while riding home from work in Chatsworth.

He reported being passed in a dangerous manner, then repeatedly honked and yelled at after passing the car while it was stopped in traffic. When the rider paused to ask what the driver’s problem was, he was told bikes aren’t allowed in the street and threatened with a call to the police.

If only the driver had, he might have been quickly corrected and properly chastised. Instead, he got out of his car and physically threatened the cyclist. Then things got worse.

After that, he got back in his car and honked awhile longer. I was trying to explain to him my rights as a cyclist but he would not listen to me. He then drove slowly forward, making contact and slightly pushing my bike. I yelled at him, then he just nailed the gas. He knocked me to the ground and ran over my bike and right leg, then had to stop because there were two cars in front of him at the light.

As I got up, he got out of his car and told me that I am an asshole and I’m the reason people hate cyclists. I took the pic of him and his car about that time.

Fortunately, he wasn’t seriously injured, although it left him with leg pain that lingers today.

Unfortunately, it also left him with emotional scars caused by yet another failure of the justice system to take an assault with a deadly weapon seriously, when that weapon is a car and the victim is on a bike — despite having two witnesses to the attack.

I got this email from him last night.

I was just told today that the LAPD decided not to charge the driver who ran me over with any crime.  This news came as a extreme shock, to think that a driver can honk and yell at a cyclist then intentionally run him over, get out of his car, call that cyclist names then speed off, and not be charged with any crime.  It just makes me feel like I’m going to die riding a bike in LA and no one will care.  I trusted our system.  It has failed me and it has failed every cyclist in Los Angeles.  I don’t know if you care to update the story or ask anyone why he wasn’t charged; I’m told lack of evidence. But I had 2 witnesses, I had a smashed front wheel of my bike and badly bruised leg ankle and foot as well as tire tracks across my leg.  I was barely able to walk for 3 weeks and still to this day I have pain in my ankle and right foot. I’m just in so much shock right now.

Shocked is a good word for it.

Appalled, disgusted and mad as hell would be appropriate responses, as well.

He was clearly injured, he had physical proof of a collision and witnesses who could attest that the driver got out of his car and threatened him.

Yet somehow, that isn’t sufficient to file charges — even though I’ve been told by police that simply getting out of a motor vehicle is sufficient for a charge of assault in a situation like this

I can’t explain it. Except as a reminder of the bad old days when bike riders knew we couldn’t count on the LAPD for protection on the streets, let alone justice.

I thought we’d left those days behind as the cycling community established a better relationship with the police. But maybe I was wrong.

Meanwhile, I’ve strongly urged the victim to contact a lawyer to discuss filing a civil suit under LA’s still-untested bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance.

He would seem to have an ideal case.

And the best part is, he wouldn’t have to count on the police to lift a finger.

………

By now, you probably know the name Damian Kevitt.

He’s the man who riding his bike with his wife near Griffith Park exactly a year ago this week when a van driver stuck in traffic made an illegal U-turn, hitting his bike in the process.

If the driver had simply stopped, Kevitt might have suffered minor injuries. Instead, he floored it, dragging the trapped cyclist 600 feet onto the 5 Freeway before he was finally dislodged in front of high-speed traffic as the van sped away.

Fortunately, he landed near a doctor and an off-duty paramedic who were able to tend to him until paramedics arrived; otherwise, the outcome of this crime might have been much different.

As it was, Kevitt was among the most critically injured riders I’ve ever heard of who somehow survived their collisions.

And not only survived, but thrived.

A year later, Kevitt is back on his bike, an artificial leg replacing the one lost in the collision. And he’s inviting every cyclist to join with him on April 27th to Finish the Ride.

The easy, 12-mile ride will benefit the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and the Challenged Athletes Foundation. But more importantly, will allow us to honor the courage of an amazing man, while calling attention to the epidemic of hit-and-runs.

In addition, Kevitt is planning to hold a vigil in front of City Hall during the Critical Mass ride next Friday, February 28th. As part of that, he’s inviting anyone who has been the victim of a hit-and-run, as well as the families of those who have been lost to hit-and-run, to join him in calling for a stop to the crime, and justice for those who have been victimized by it.

If you’d like to join him — and I would strongly encourage it if you can — email him at damiankevitt@FinishTheRide.com, or leave a message at 206/495-3116.

As for justice, the heartless bastard who nearly took Kevitt’s life is still out there somewhere.

Despite a $25,000 reward.

 

The more things don’t change, the more they remain the same; LA driver confesses to threatening cyclists

Here's a picture of my dog, who could have done a better job of moving my blog than the people I hired to do it.

Here’s a picture of my dog, who could have done a better job of moving my blog to a private server than the people I hired to do it.

So much for that.

As we left off last week, I promised this blog would be transferred to a private server over the holiday weekend, as the first phase of long-gestating plan to remake it into an advertising-supported website.

Long gestating, indeed. Many species have their babies in a lot less time than this process, which started in August, has taken.

But as you’ll see, either the transfer was done so perfectly that nothing has changed, or nothing has changed.

Smart money is on the latter.

Over the weekend I received an email from the web-hosting service I’d hired to do the transfer that they too lacked the capability to move it to their servers. This, despite sworn assurances from their sales staff that they’d done it many times before, and would have me up and running in a matter of days.

Turns out they hadn’t. And wouldn’t.

But at least I got my money back.

So the transfer is on hold for now. Hopefully, it will get done later this week, by another company that doesn’t have its head so far up it’s own ass knows what it’s doing and is a little more honest about its own abilities.

I’ll let you know more when I do.

………

It’s not everyday someone confesses to assault with a deadly weapon on National Public Radio.

But that’s exactly what self-proclaimed life-long LA driver Jackie Burke did in an otherwise positive piece about LA Bike Trains.

The story focused on the founding of the program by New York transplant Nona Varnado, who has become a leader in the local bicycling scene in the short time she’s been here — though I do miss her incredible design work for women cyclists. Along with the success the program has had in helping beginning bike commuters take to the roads.

Not that everyone welcomes new riders to the roads.

Like the aforementioned Ms. Burke, for instance.

“It’s like they enjoy taking up the lanes,” says Jackie Burke, who has lived in Los Angeles her whole life. She says bicyclists drive her crazy when she’s in a car and has to slow down for them.

“It’s very frustrating, to the point where I just want to run them off the road,” Burke says. “I’ve actually done one of those drive-really-close-to-them kind of things to kind of scare them, to try to intimidate them to get out of my way.”

Let’s start with the fact that neither Burke, nor anyone else, has a right to the roadway, let alone a right to drive unimpeded. And as Niall Huffman points out, bikes aren’t hard to pass — as long as you’re not the kind of sociopath who’s willing to intentionally threaten another human being for the crime of slightly inconveniencing your commute.

Because that’s exactly what Burke has admitted doing.

By her own account, she used her vehicle as a weapon in an attempt to intimidate another person using the roadway in a legal manner. She could, and perhaps should, be charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

Except that she would undoubtedly deny her own words, which is currently the only evidence against her.

In order for charges to stick, her victim or an independent witness would have to come forward who could testify that Burke threatened the rider with her car, and could place her — or at least her vehicle — at the scene of the crime.

Because a crime is exactly what it was.

Her words also place her in violation of LA’s groundbreaking cyclist anti-harassment ordinance, which allows a cyclist to file a civil suit against deliberately threatening drivers. But again, that would require Burke’s victim(s) to come forward, and be able to identify her as the attacker.

Not likely, given the challenge of taking down a license number as a rider struggles not to get run off the road. Let alone over.

Which means, despite her very public confession on national radio, she’s likely going to get away with it. Just like all the other otherwise decent people who somehow turn into blood-thirsty, road-raging sociopaths once they get behind the wheel.

Although the DMV should seriously look into permanently pulling her license. Or at least until she can learn to drive without threatening the lives and safety of complete strangers who have the misfortune of sharing the road with her.

Perhaps more frightening, though, is that Alex Schmidt, the reporter on the piece, didn’t even bother to challenge her comments.

Because attitudes and actions like hers are far too common. And far too accepted in our society.

And if that doesn’t scare the crap out of every American, it should.

Road raging driver mows down cyclist in Palos Verdes

The bike is dead. Fortunately, its rider isn’t.

The Daily Breeze is reporting that a road raging driver deliberately ran down a bicyclist before slamming into a series of cars.

According to the paper, Palos Verdes Estates resident Doug Castile was riding on Via Pacheco around 6:30 pm when he was Jerry Browned by a driver who sideswiped him, then backed up and hit him again when he complained.

Castile said he yelled, “Hey, you just hit me!” The driver of the black car then put it in reverse, backed up behind the bicyclist, pulled forward and pushed the bicyclist into the plants.

“The guy put it in reverse again, backed up, and ran over my bike,” Castile said. “At that point, my feet are clipped in the pedals on my bike. I unclipped my feet and jumped off the bike into the plants and he’s running over my bicycle back and forth.”

The driver, who wasn’t identified in the story, reacted bizarrely when Castile reached reached into his pocket for his cell phone.

“He says, ‘What are you reaching for, a gun?’ It just was so odd to hear that statement. I took my hand out of my pocket. I thought this guy is capable of anything,” Castile said.

At that point, the driver sped off, slamming into an unknown number of parked and moving vehicle before his car finally became disabled on Ganado Drive and Sheriff’s deputies made an arrest.

Castile was able to escape with scrapes, while his $3,000 to $4,000 bike was destroyed.

The paper says police were unsure whether the driver was suffering from a mental condition or committed a deliberate assault.

Unfortunately, anyone can buy a car and get a license, regardless of mental or emotional stability. And in the wrong hands, it can become a weapon.

As we have seen too many times before.

Thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up.

Update: The Daily Breeze identifies the driver as 65-year old William Thomas Kelly of Torrance. He’s being held on $30,000 bond on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon; hopefully, more charges — and a much higher bail — will follow soon. 

It’s also worth noting that deputies found Kelly unconscious in his car after it rammed the gates to an FAA facility, which could lead to federal charges. According to the paper, officer’s smelled alcohol on his breath when he was taken into custody — which could make this the fourth time he’s charged with DUI since 1991.

And yet he was still allowed behind the wheel to threaten the lives and safety of others.

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