Morning Links: Possible West LA bike crash, and Chase Richard to be tried in fatal Ramona hit-and-run

I’ve received reports about a possible bicycling fatality on Barrington Ave in West LA Monday night. 

According to a post on Nextdoor, a bike rider was hit by a driver around 10 pm, between Olympic and Pico Blvds.

Meanwhile, a report on the Citizen app showed police investigating a fatal collision at Barrington and Exposition around the same time. 

So far, I haven’t been able to find any confirmation of the crash, or that someone was killed. The county medical examiner’s website shows just two people killed on the streets somewhere in LA County, but doesn’t indicate where or how they were traveling. 

I’ll keep looking, and tell you if I learn more. Or if you have any information about this, please let me know. 

And in the meantime, let’s just hope it turns out to be a mistake. Which isn’t uncommon where Nextdoor is concerned.

Thanks to Howard Valai and Nick Hooper for the tips.

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A San Diego judge ruled that Chase Richard will stand trial for the hit-and-run death of Ramona resident Michelle Scott as she rode her bike to work October 2nd; he continues to be held on $2 million bond.

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Not all superheroes wear capes.

Although something tells me a bicyclist wouldn’t be seen in the same light if we tried the same thing.

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Ride your bike to deliver cookies to Costa Mesa first responders this Sunday; hopefully, you can manage to deliver more than you eat.

Unlike, say, me.

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Peloton is the news story that just keeps on giving these day.

The actress who played the Peloton Wife blames the expression on her face for the outsized response. Uh, no.

The company has angered some of its customers by cutting prices for digital subscribers, but keeping the more expensive subscriptions for people who use one of their bikes the same.

C|net says Peloton’s $2,245 purchase price and $39 monthly subscription is worth it if you’re a dedicated indoor cyclist.

But who needs Peloton when you can just shove a pair of pedals under your desk?

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‘Tis the Season.

The Salvation Army and Pasadena Rotary Club teamed to give 200 new bicycles and tricycles to local kids as part of their Bikes For Christmas program.

More on the San Diego Chargers of Los Angeles giving new bicycles to one hundred Inglewood elementary school kids.

Carlsbad’s Bikes for the Barrio program donated 110 bikes to underserved children at a local Elementary School.

Over 300 volunteers showed up to build 800 bicycles for kids in San Francisco’s East Bay.

Sixty-seven kids at a Cedar Rapids, Iowa neighborhood mission got new bikes, thanks to a local charity.

An entire North Carolina 3rd grade class got new bicycles thanks to Bikes for Kids.

Florida’s Jack the Bike Man is planning to give away thousands of new and refurbished kids bikes this weekend.

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Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly. Or selling them.

The owner of a Grover Beach bike shop could be going away for a long time — and deservedly so — after he was charged with sexually abusing a girl younger than 14 years old on several occasions.

Police in Palo Alto are looking for a bike-riding purse snatcher who dragged a woman several feet as she fought to hang onto her bag.

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Still more people are giving to 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

So let me offer my sincere thanks to Anne F and Shrak Racing for their generous donations to the fund drive.

Your support helps ensure all the best bike news and advocacy will keep coming your way every day!

And helps keep our elected officials accountable, too. 

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Local

Evidently, supercars are disposable now. The CHP found an upside down fire-engine-red Lamborghini abandoned on Angeles Crest Highway above Altadena, after the driver flipped it and walked away.

I’m not sure what it means when a bigass SUV gets its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, except that Chevrolet paid someone a shitload of money. Thanks to Evan Burbridge for the heads-up. 

 

State

A San Diego writer stumbles onto a New Zealand man who just finished a 1,750-mile ride from Canada to Mexico in 27 days.

San Diego broke ground on a pair of bikeways through the North Park and Mid-City neighborhoods that will eventually connect with planed protected bike lanes on 30th Street, where some business owners and residents seem to think maintaining parking spaces outweighs protecting human lives.

A San Jose letter writer says she suffers the effects of fossil fuels in the form of pollution when she rides her bike.

A San Francisco woman got a $1,200 bill for failing to return a Lyft bikeshare bike, even though she had gotten a confirmation for its return.

San Francisco is putting bike and pedestrian safety projects on the fast track, but Streetsblog says the new bike lanes still rely on dangerous mixing zones at the intersections.

The North Bay Area is spending $726 million for more induced demand by widening Highway 101 between Petaluma and the Marin County Line. But at least they threw in a bike path.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss has your new style guide for all things bikes, insisting espresso and aero are out, and pour-overs and flannel are in.

Makes sense to me. A writer for Singletracks says don’t spend your money on a new bike, spend it on new experiences.

Year-to-date wholesale bike orders were down in every category except ebikes for the first two months of this year, while bike riding continues to drop among kids, as well. Thanks to Brent Bigler for the links.

A new offroad wheelchair is made from mountain bike parts for lower costs and greater durability.

A new documentary follows five Aussie friends on a 2,600 mile, 30 day ride across the Western US following the route of John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, with a budget of just $420 for the entire journey.

Add this one to your bike bucket list — a 280-mile loop through Oregon forests and California redwoods.

On January 1st, Oregon will become the fourth state to allow some form of the Idaho Stop Law, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields; however, unlike Idaho, they’ll still have to remain for red lights.

Somehow, my frozen Colorado hometown manages to have a Winter Bike to Work Day, even if it is a week early. But Los Angeles, where it sometimes gets all the way down to the 60s, can’t manage to pull it off.

Chicago will keep a bike lane next the median to avoid doorings, after beating back an alderman’s attempt to move them or replace them with part-time parking.

He gets it. A Rhode Island letter writer says no one is trying to force drivers to ride a bike, just pushing for bike lanes to give people a choice.

An Albany NY writer says buying a bike online after trying it out at the local bike shop, aka showrooming, may not be illegal but it definitely isn’t nice.

This is who — or what — we share the roads with. A New York man was killed when he was pinned between two cars after a Lexus owner used the remote starter to start his car.

A New Jersey op-ed says the state has the money to improve safety on the streets, but what’s lacking is the political will. Which Los Angeles can certainly relate to.

A Richmond VA councilmember says giving up his car for a month inspired a new Streets for All bill, including speed limit cuts, banning parking in bike lanes, and an Idaho Stop Law.

Mississippi bicyclists explain why putting rumble strips along the edge line on the Natchez Trace Parkway is a very bad idea. Actually, it’s a bad idea anywhere people ride bikes.

 

International

Lots of people ride their bikes to college. In Bogotá, Columbia, you can ride your bike for college to study the effects of the city’s sprawl on surrounding environmental zones.

This is who we share the roads with, part dois. A Brazilian man was busted for dressing up like a matronly woman to take the driver’s test for his mother, after she failed three times. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the tip.

Seriously? A Canadian writer says bicycles — electric or otherwise — are not viable alternatives to cars, but velomobiles are. There are a lot of Dutch and Danish riders who might beg to differ.

Bike Biz looks at the bicycling platforms of each of Britain’s political parties in yesterday’s election, won by the Conservatives.

An ambulance arrived 90 minutes earlier than promised for an English bicyclist who broke his hip after clipping a curb. And still took three and a half hours to get there.

A new British survey shows an across the board decline in bicycling for leisure, sport and travel.

Berlin is planning to build eleven Bicycle Expressways connecting the outskirts of the city to the city center. But shouldn’t they be called fahrradbahns?

This is the cost of traffic violence. A New Zealand woman describes the immense loss when her 19-year old daughter was killed riding her bike to work.

Shanghai is automating enforcement, with ebikes required to carry license plates with an embedded RFID chip to automatically ticket riders if traffic cams capture a violation; the system has resulted in 49,000 tickets since July 1st.

 

Competitive Cycling

Heartbreaking. A Rwandan woman describes how her dreams of bike racing were shattered when she got pregnant after being raped by her coach.

LA-based retired pro cyclist Phil Gaimon says being fast is pointless, because there are more important things in life for most bike riders.

American cyclist Tejay van Garderen says he’s aiming for back-to-back Giro and Tour de France races next year.

 

Finally…

If you’re riding your bike with an outstanding arrest warrant, maybe carrying a coffee table on your handlebars isn’t the best idea.

And everyone can use a little help pedaling.

 

Man killed riding bike in Buena Park Monday night; 5th SoCal bike fatality in five days

This hasn’t been a joyful holiday season on the streets of Southern California this year.

And it got even worse on Thursday, when the Orange County Coroner revealed a man was killed riding his bike in Buena Park on Monday.

Unfortunately, that’s virtually all we know about the crash that took his life.

The coroner identifies the victim as 45-year old La Mirada resident Carlos Bravo, who was injured in a collision at 10:21 pm, at an undisclosed location in Buena Park.

He died at UC Irvine Medical Center less than an hour later.

There’s no word on how the crash occurred or who was responsible, or if the driver was cited or detained.

This is at least the 72nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

It’s also the fifth SoCal bike death in as many days.

Note: I mistakenly wrote yesterday that the death of Mario Gomez in Huntington Beach was the 12th OC bicycling death this year, but that appears to have been just the 11th. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Carlos Bravo and all his loved ones. 

 

 

No Morning Links due to last night’s breaking news

My apologies once again.

Unfortunately, last night’s bicycling fatalities in Bonsall and Calexico left me with far too little time to write today’s Morning Links.

But if you’re unsure whether to support this year’s BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive, consider this.

I’m committed to bringing you the news no one wants, even though it’s by far the hardest thing I have to do.

And probably the hardest things you have to read.

I write about the victims of these crashes both to remember and honor them, and provide a bike rider’s perspective that the police and press too often don’t — and the victims can’t.

Because if we don’t know what’s really going on out there, it’s impossible to fix it.

And that’s something you won’t find anywhere else in Southern California.

It’s up to you to decide what that’s worth to you, if anything.

No amount is too small — or too large, for that matter. All I ask is that you give if you want, and if you can.

And if you already have, thank you, sincerely, from the bottom of my heart.

Either way, I’ll be back tomorrow to catch up on anything we missed today.

Because the most important thing you can do to support this site is to simply keep coming back every day.

63-year old Colorado road cyclist killed in Bonsall collision near Camp Pendleton in North San Diego County

Drivers are expected to see what’s in the road directly in front of them.

Except too often, they don’t.

That was the case in tiny Bonsall yesterday, just west of Camp Pendleton, where a man from Colorado was killed when he was rear-ended by a 19-year old motorist.

The victim, publicly identified only as a 63-year old man, was riding westbound on State Route 76 near Thoroughbred Lane when the driver slammed into him from behind around 9:50 am Wednesday.

He was thrown from his bike, and died at the scene before paramedics could arrive.

The San Diego Union Tribune describes him as riding a Cannondale road bike, “in full biking gear and wearing a helmet.” Which clearly wasn’t much benefit in the crash, with a likely impact speed at or above the posted 55 mph speed limit.

The driver continued a short distance to a nearby strip mall, where he pulled over to call 911 and wait for the CHP to arrive, telling them he never saw the man he killed until after the impact.

A CHP spokesperson says he was not under the influence.

No mention is made of whether he was driving distracted, however, or if there was some other reason why he couldn’t see a grown man on a bicycle right in front of his car.

Investigators are unsure where the victim was riding prior to the crash, although it’s likely he was riding in the painted bike lane on the right shoulder. Which raises the question of whether he left the lane for some reason, or if the driver somehow drifted into it.

No word on whether the victim was visiting from Colorado, or living in the area.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the CHP’s Vista office at 760/643-3400.

This is at least the 71st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, but just the fourth that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones. 

 

Man on bike killed when he’s run down by driver on Calexico highway; police blame victim for riding legally

Never put it past the police to blame a victim for riding legally in the traffic lane.

That appears to be the case in Calexico, where an unidentified man was killed while riding his bike on a local highway just before sunrise Tuesday.

According to KYMA-TV, the victim, who appeared to be in his early 30s, was riding his bike somewhere on Highway 111 when he was struck by a southbound van driver.

A spokesman for the Calexico Police Department stressed that the victim was wearing dark clothing, and “was not riding off to the shoulder, as bicyclists should be riding.”

Except there is no requirement under California law that says how someone on a bicycle has to be dressed. And absolutely nothing requiring bicyclists to ride on the shoulder, which is not legally considered part of the roadway.

It’s true that people on bicycles are required to ride as far to the right as practicable. But as far as the law is concerned, that requirement ends at the white line.

It may be wiser to ride on the shoulder, in some cases, but many people prefer the traffic lanes to the broken glass and rocks that collect on unswept shoulders.

Even the DMV says that bicyclists may ride in the center of any substandard lane for increased visibility; drivers are expected to not only see them, but move to the other lane to go around them.

Dark clothing or not.

And substandard is defined as any lane too narrow for someone on a bicycle to safely share with another vehicle, while leaving a minimum three-foot passing distance.

Frankly, there is something terribly wrong when the people who are charged with enforcing the law appear to be so ignorant of it.

And don’t get me started on the local TV station insisting on showing the victim’s blood running off the highway.

This is at least the 70th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in sparsely populated Imperial County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones. 

Morning Links: LA misses newest list of US bike-friendly cities, best bike helmets, and All City Toy Ride on Friday the 13th

No surprise here.

A day after Los Angeles — which was named America’s worst bike city just one year ago — was inexplicably ranked 20th on a list of the world’s most bike-friendly cities, it didn’t even make the top ten American cities in another.

But Long Beach did.

According to real estate site Redfin, Minneapolis lead the list of the most bikeable cities in the US, followed by Portland, Chicago, Denver and San Francisco.

All of which have been busy building connected bikeway networks.

Then again, so have the others on the list. Including Long Beach, which checked in at number ten.

So while it hasn’t yet accomplished its goal of being America’s most bike-friendly city, Long Beach — by far the smallest city on the list — is getting there, at least by some standards.

And continues to lap its much larger neighbor to the north.

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Let’s talk bike helmets in the news.

LA-based Wheels e-scooters will now come with a bike helmet built into the frame, complete with a disposable liner to theoretically protect from whatever the previous user had in his or her hair. I’ll pass, thanks.

Meanwhile, Virginia Tech has come out with their latest list of the top ten bike helmets, based on rigorous testing. And finds that MIPS rules the roost, but Bontrager’s WaveCel isn’t far behind.

Dr. Oz jumps on the bike helmet bandwagon, saying 541,000 bicyclists were treated for head injuries between 2014 and 2017.

Just to clarify, I always wear a helmet when I ride. But I never forget that bike helmets are designed to protect against slow-speed falls, not getting hit by a speeding driver in an SUV. And should always be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails.

Not the first.

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LA’s annual Midnight Ridazz toy ride will roll this weekend, making Friday the 13th a lucky day for kids who might not otherwise get a toy for the holidays.

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Forget the impeachment.

Clearly, the biggest year-end news remains that infamous Peloton ad. Which just won’t go away, no matter how much we close our eyes and click our heels together.

The actress who will forever be known as the Peloton Wife says she feels very lucky, and people have been so nice since the whole ad controversy broke. Unlike the way the Peloton Husband has been treated, who just hopes it won’t kill his acting career.

A CNN writer, and “hooked” Peloton user, considers it just a faux controversy.

The company’s stock dropped 6% yesterday to $32.55 after a short-selling analyst said it’s only worth $5 a share.

And with tongue placed firmly in cheek, Elle says the biggest snub in Monday’s Golden Globes nominations was the lack of noms for the entire Peloton Wife Cinematic Universe.

Now, can this all just please go away? Pretty please?

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Who says Contador has lost it?

Although his win may be given to Schleck in a few years pending dope tests.

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‘Tis the Season.

An unknown urbanist guerrilla secretly decorated a Chicago protected bike for the holidays.

The “Bike Man” of Springfield MA has dedicated whatever time he has left to building bikes for kids after being diagnosed with a degenerative brain disease from his work as a bouncer; he’s given away over 1,400 bicycles, including a custom-made bike for a girl with dwarfism.

A North Carolina woman will give away nearly 1,500 bikes, continuing the tradition her late husband started 30 years ago.

An Alabama rural health association will team with a bank to give away 100 bikes to kids next week.

Runner’s World considers the best gifts for the bike rider in your life. Which means Bicycling will probably be out with a gift list for runners any day.

And the San Diego Chargers of Los Angeles once again played bike Santa for some LA kids.

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Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly. 

A Wichita KS bike rider hopped off his bike to write a racial slur in the middle of a residential street before riding off. But at least the racist jerk did it in chalk.

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Looks like the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive is still going strong.

So let me offer a heartfelt thank you to Paul F, Nina M and Dennis E for their generous donations to the fund drive.

Your support helps ensure all the best bike news and advocacy will keep coming your way every day!

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Local

A ghost bike will be placed Thursday night for the man killed in a collision while riding his bike at Victory and Kester in Van Nuys last week.

The mother of fallen bicyclist Frederick “Woon” Frazier will host a protest walk on Saturday to remember her son and demand solutions to hit-and-runs.

A new interactive map shows LA’s most dangerous areas for pedestrians, with pedestrian injuries and deaths skyrocketing in the five years since Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Vision Zero, but failed to implement it. The same streets usually correspond with the most dangerous places for bike riders, as well.

CiclaValley takes a video ride along DTLA’s new Main Street protected bike lanes.

Los Angeles is handing the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority responsibility for maintaining and patrolling the LA River Bike Path through the West San Fernando Valley, replacing a jumble of jurisdictions as part of a pilot program.

A Long Beach man was hospitalized in stable condition after his bike was struck by a hit-and-run driver in a stolen car; police found the vehicle after the driver ditched it in an alley and walked away.

 

State

The LA Times says maybe the reason Californians can’t drive is because they can’t decipher the DMV’s confusing driver’s handbook.

Caltrans new executive director says his primary goal is improving safety, followed by a switch to multimodalism.

Donate just five bucks to support San Diego trails, and you would win a free Canyon Strive mountain bike courtesy of Canyon, the Belgian Waffle Ride, and the San Diego Mountain Biking Association.

Opening a new front in the never-ending battle against induced demand, a Lake Elsinore freeway interchange will get a $45 million expansion. But at least they’ve got the good sense to improve walkways and bike lanes as part of the work.

Who says bike riders aren’t tough? After a Sunnyvale man suffered a non-life threatening injury in a drive-by shooting, police found him half a mile from the crime scene because he kept riding, despite the injury.

A Palo Alto columnist says Idaho Stop or not, you’re putting your life at risk by riding through stop signs or red lights — especially without lights on your bike.

A San Francisco bike shop plans to reopen in a week or so after it was damaged in a strip mall fire early Friday morning, along with another shop.

Sad news from Empire, where a 27-year old man was killed when he rode around railroad crossing arms in the fog and was struck by an Amtrak train. One more tragic reminder to never go around lowered crossing arms, even if you don’t see a train. They’re down for a reason.

 

National

City Lab says carfree streets will soon be the norm. We can only hope.

Paul Reubens — aka Pee-wee Herman — is going on tour next year to mark the 35th anniversary of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, including stops at the Wiltern in Los Angeles next February, as well as in San Diego and San Francisco.

Outside honors their Outsiders of the Year, including teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg and American world mountain biking champ Kate Courtney.

The late Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volker was one of us, riding his bike across Europe instead of writing his doctoral thesis while attending the London School of Economics in the 1950s.

Condo shoppers in Chicago, Minneapolis and Portland are considering the building’s bikeability as the determining factor before buying.

Boise, Idaho mountain bikers got a shiny new bike park for Christmas this year, complete with double black diamond trails.

A Milwaukee bike burglar was busted for multiple break-ins to steal bicycles, including hitting a bike co-op dedicated to providing repairs and jobs for youths four times.

Seriously? An apparently well-meaning Minnesota college student says it’s time to study the problem of distracted bicycling. Trust me, that’s not what’s killing them.

No surprise here, as a new study from Queens NY shows that women are more likely to bike if there’s a protected bike lane.

A writer for Patch in Pennsylvania confirms the site’s lack of veracity, by saying Vision Zero isn’t working because its primary goal is to increase daytime traffic congestion. Um, no. And Los Angeles and Chicago weren’t the first cities to adopt it, either.

 

International

A writer for London’s Independent newspaper says Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative party claims to support bicycling, but their platform suggests just the opposite.

Stranded in London overnight, a tourist rented a bikeshare bike and rode it 67 miles around the city, visiting 25 landmarks in eight hours.

An English bike rider says he survived a sudden heart attack while riding thanks to some Good Samaritans and a nearby defibrillator.

A British rider rented a three-geared bikeshare bike, drove 680 miles to France, rode it up the legendary Alpe d’Huez and returned it to the docking station, all within 24 hours.

Thieves backed a truck up to a UK bike shop and made off with 60 new bikes, many still in the box.

She gets it. A Dublin, Ireland writer says the city has to make alternatives to driving into the city more attractive to commuters. More proof that the problems, and the solutions, are the same all over the world.

Your next custom bicycle could come from a 100-year old Parisian bespoke bikemaker. I mean, just in case anyone has me on their Secret Santa list this year.

Amsterdam’s bike mayor says bicycling can save the world.

An Aussie mom-to-be says she’s still biking to work while eight months pregnant, despite the comments of concerned onlookers.

Fortune considers the rapid rise and fall of China’s bikeshare companies. And says you might want to consider those lessons before investing in the country’s artificial intelligence startups.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sprinting great Mark Cavendish will be looking to regain his former speed with the newly-unveiled Bahrain-McLaren cycling team, after the famed sports car builder took half ownership of the team. Maybe this will help.

Oregon’s Bicycle Racing Association will allow a board member accused of “pervasive transphobia” to keep his position.

 

Finally…

Once again, if you’re carrying coke, meth and weed in your coat, put a damn light on your bike. No, really, if you’re carrying meth, pain killers and a metal club in your backpack, don’t hand your bicycle to someone fleeing the police on foot.

And it appears the well-dressed manatee will not be wearing a bicycle tire this holiday season.

 

Morning Links: Bike rider murdered on LA River path, Westwood NIMBYs rise again, and LA makes bad list of best bike cities

I’m not usually one to leave a job half done. 

But evidently, I’m okay with knocking off when it’s just two-thirds finished.

Especially when I don’t have any choice. 

I’ve been struggling with low blood sugar most of the night, ranging from dangerously low to just extremely nauseatingly low. 

Despite which, I’ve somehow managed to get this far with today’s post. But I can’t make it any further. 

At least not tonight. 

But don’t fret.

I promise to catch up on the rest tomorrow, when I’ll (hopefully) be feeling better.

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Evidently, nowhere is safe for LA County bike riders.

The LA Times reports that a man was found shot to death next to his bicycle on the LA River bike path just before 11 pm Sunday night.

The vicim was discovered suffering from a single gunshot wound to the upper body on the pathway near Clara Street and River Road in Cudahy.

There are no known suspects.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LA County Sheriff’s Department at 323/890-5500.

Thanks to Eban Lehrer for the heads-up.

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The decidedly bike-unfriendly Westwood Neighborhood Council is raising its ugly NIMBY head once again.

The group, which is dominated by wealthy homeowners in the area, is calling for a motion to block proposed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd from just below Wilshire Blvd to the UCLA campus.

Even though the North Westwood Neighborhood Council, where the lanes would actually be located, overwhelmingly favors them.

And even though they could help revitalize the rapidly dying Westwood Village, while improving safety for UCLA students, staff and employees, along with what few shoppers, diners and movie goers remain.

New LA advocacy group Streets For All is calling for everyone to contact area Councilmember Paul Koretz. Though it’s questionable what good that will do, since Koretz is the one who singlehandedly blocked bike lanes along the lower portion of the street below Santa Monica Blvd at the behest of a handful of homeowners.

More effective could be their final suggestion.

3 – Show up at Westwood Neighborhood Council’s meeting – and encourage any friends that live in Westwood to join you. We will be passing out signs to hold up. Give public comment supporting Metro’s bike lanes on Westwood Bl. and opposing their interference in part of Westwood that isn’t even in their neighborhood council district.

When: Wednesday, December 11, 2019. 7pm.

Where: Belmont Village Senior Living, 10475 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90024

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I don’t want to frighten you.

But before you read this next item, you need to sit down.

Now set down your coffee, tea or whatever you’re drinking. You don’t want you to ruin your laptop, phone or any other device with an unplanned spit take.

Because what I’m about to say may come as a shock. Or maybe a laugh.

Or in my case, a damn good guffaw.

Because Los Angeles finally made a list of the most bike-friendly cities.

No, in the world.

Seriously.

Even though we can’t even make a list of the most bike-friendly cities in California. Or barely in LA County, for that matter.

Let alone with criteria like this.

For this edition of the ranking, we have evaluated and ranked over 60 cities from around the world using 7 factors including biking infrastructure, bike safety, roadside rentals, bike-share index, friendliness (designated bike lanes), road connectivity, and bicycle culture (the shops, routes, and attributes that make each city a great place to ride). These are the best cycling cities in the world. Did your city make the list?

Clearly, they didn’t deduct for LA’s angry, aggressive and distracted drivers. Or elected leaders who seem to like the way Vision Zero looks on LADOT’s website, as long as they don’t actually have to do anything.

Never mind the steadily rising toll of fallen bicyclists that disprove the city’s meager efforts to date.

But not only did LA make the list, we apparently made it twice.

Magazine placed Oslo in sixth on the list ahead of Bremen, and Antwerp. San Francisco and Helsinki round out the list at nine and ten, respectively. Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Portland, Boulder, and Seattle came out as the top five most bike-friendly cities in the United States.

CEO Magazine, which created this list, may or may not be legit.

But LA’s inclusion on it is total bull.

The Onion, on the other hand, get it right with a story saying Los Angeles is now adding lanes for bike riders to recover from getting hit by drivers.

………

Yesterday we posted video of a road raging Texas truck driver blocking both lanes of a narrow highway to tell off a group of bicyclists, which made it look like the riders may have been taking up both sides of the road.

Today we get additional video from another angle, making it clear they weren’t. And that she was going way too fast.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

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‘Tis the Season.

Four hundred Coachella Valley 4th graders got new bikes and helmets courtesy of Variety of the Desert.

Around a hundred volunteers pitched in to build 123 bikes for a Pennsylvania nonprofit, marking more than one thousand bikes the group has given away since 2008.

Even Fox News is getting in on the bike building act.

Meanwhile, Bike Radar has eco-friendly gift ideas for the bike rider in your life. Or maybe something for the bike-riding lesbian on your list.

And the New York Post has advice on gifts to avoid so you don’t end up like the Peloton husband.

………

Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly. 

A bike-riding Grinch made off with a San Jose family’s Christmas decorations.

An Illinois man was busted for pedaling his bike up behind a woman to steal her purse in a Walmart parking lot. Even if the headline suggests he was trying to sell his bike, instead.

………

It looked for awhile like Monday would be the first day with no donations to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

But appearances can be deceiving. 

So let me offer a heartfelt thank you to William S for coming through at the last minute with his generous donation help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day!

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers photos from Sunday’s West Valley CicLAvia, while CiclaValley offers a video recap. And no, my fumble fingers never gotten used to typing CicLAvia and CiclaValley in the same sentence, and probably never will.

Yet another reminder that Los Angeles will close Hollywood Blvd at the drop of a hat for a movie premier. But somehow can’t create a pedestrian plaza to improve business and save human lives.

 

State

California planners are already telling LOS to get lost.

San Diego’s popular Rose Canyon bike path will be closed this week to pave the final segment.

San Francisco will close a section of Octavia Street in the Hayes Valley neighborhood to cars, and fling it open for people on bicycles. Permanently. Maybe Los Angeles can take the hint.

 

National

Bicycling lists the ten most popular Strava segments from across the US, with a heavy emphasis on the West Coast.

The magazine also looks at Utah’s shrinking Bears Ears National Monument, warning that oil wells could soon replace a bikepacking paradise.

A coalition of conservation groups have filed suit against new federal rules opening National Park trails to ebikes if other bikes are allowed. Evidently, the wilderness is only for the fit and able bodied, as far as they’re concerned.

Trek recalled their 2017-19 Super Commuter+ 8S ebikes because, as the Miami Herald points out, nobody expects the wheels to come of a $5,200 bike. Actually, no one expects the wheels to come off any bike, regardless of price.

A Colorado bike advocate is blown away by biking in Portland. Just imagine how blown away she’d be by Los Angeles, which scored 15 places higher on that list up above.

Life is cheap in Texas, where you can kill a seven-year old little girl in front of her school and walk without even a ticket.

With no apparent sense of irony, a Providence, Rhode Island letter writer says bike advocates should have a more inclusive vision for the city, while insisting there’s no room for bike lanes on the city’s streets.

Streetsblog accuses New York Mayor Bill De Blasio of hypocrisy for encouraging corporate ebike deliveries while banning ebike food deliveries. Meanwhile, the state’s governor is sitting on a bill that would legalize ebikes throughout the state because of an unrelated dispute with the bill’s sponsor.

New York doormen are worried about conflicts between customers and people on bicycles as bike lanes expand throughout the city. Or they could just assume that bike lanes are meant for people on bicycles. Not tourists with suitcases.

 

International

British six-time Olympic gold medalist Sir Chris Hoy offers tips on how to teach your child to ride a bike. Because everyone knows Olympic track cycling is the ideal background for the best sidewalk bike coaches.

Get your next H&M order delivered by bicycle. But only if you live in the Netherlands, of course.

 

Finally…

Now you can gravel grind and ride epic singletrack without ever leaving the comfort of your own home. It’s not a bicycle, it’s an artist’s brush.

And it’s one thing to attack the leader of Britain’s Labour Party. But making fun of his bike is going too damn far.

Wrong way bike rider dies after declaration of brain death, following Friday Huntington Beach crash

Nothing says the holidays in Southern California like another ghost bike.

That’s what we’ll need, once again, after a man was disconnected from life support on Sunday, following the Friday morning Huntington Beach collision.

According to multiple sources, the victim was struck by the driver of an SUV at Gothard Street and Heil Ave in Huntington Beach around 6:30 am Friday.

He was taken UCI Medical Center in Orange, where he was pronounced dead around 1:30 yesterday afternoon.

The Daily Pilot reports the 57-year old man, identified by the Orange County coroner as Anaheim resident Mario Gomez, was riding his bike against traffic when he was struck.

No word on which street he was riding on, or what direction he or the driver were traveling; both streets have unprotected bike lanes.

And yes, the driver remained at the scene, as legally required.

Huntington Beach police note that Gomez wasn’t wearing a helmet, which is valid for a change, since he died of head trauma. Although they don’t say how fast the driver was going, or if the crash would have been survivable with or without one.

Nor do they note whether he was originally from this country. Many Central American immigrants are taught to ride facing traffic, and bring that habit with them — too often with results that are all too predictable in Southern California traffic.

None of which absolves the driver of responsibility to pay attention to the road ahead of him, and note any conflicting traffic, regardless of which direction it’s coming from.

Any anyone with information is urged to call Huntington Beach Police Investigator Adam Turner, 714/536-5670 or Investigator Daniel Kim 714/536-5666.

And let’s give a special shoutout to The Orange County Tribune, which somehow labelled the violent crash that took the life of another human being a mere “mishap.”

This is at least the 69th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

It’s also the second bicycling death in Huntington Beach this year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Mario Gomez and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to a pair of anonymous sources for the heads-up.

 

Morning Links: Speeding across the US at 123 mph, the once and future CicLAvia, and more post-Peloton ad hysteria

Before we start, let me take a moment to thank every who’s given to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive so far.

Since we started ten days ago, not a single day has gone by without at least one donation. And often, more than that.

So let me offer my heartfelt thanks to Mike W, Ilya G, Philippa M, Gregory S and Glen S for their generous donations to since we saw you last.

Because their open hearts, and open wallets, is what helps keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Which means the only question is, who’s going to join them today?

And will it be you?

………

This is who we share the roads with.

Writing for Bicycling, Joe Lindsey criticizes a culture that allows motorists to break the law with seeming impunity. And chuckle when someone gets away with it.

Like drivers in a highly modified Mercedes using every trick known to man to evade the police while speeding across the US at an average of 123 mph.

And a top speed of 193 mph.

Speeds which would be instantly fatal to anyone outside of the car in the event of a crash. And probably in it, too.

All to win an illegal, unauthorized race across the country, speeding 2,800 miles across the US in less than 27 and a half hours. And putting the lives of everyone else on the roadway at risk, in every city, county and state they drove through.

Maybe it’s here where I point out that all of this is patently insane.

It’s insane to shift-drive across the country on open roads at triple-digit speeds. It’s insane to have such arrogant disregard for the law that you heavily modify a vehicle specifically to evade the police, using technologies that are themselves illegal in many states—laser jammers are illegal in California, Colorado, and Illinois, to name three states on the route, and it’s illegal in every state not to have functioning brake and taillights. It’s insane to try to pass this off as both a bold adventure AND a paragon of driving skill and discretion. And it’s insane for the media to accept that narrative so credulously and uncritically…

Cars are the apex predator in a transportation ecosystem where menace and aggression are literally built into the grilles, and where drivers can hit and kill cyclists and pedestrians and walk away without charges, or receive laughably minimal punishment when they are brought to court. Our devotion to cars is a stuck parking brake on the economy, a pox on public health, and is killing the planet.

It’s today’s must read.

And well worth the few minutes it will take to speed through it.

………

The Los Angeles Daily News says the final CicLAvia of the year opened people’s eyes to “the sights, scenery (and) shops” in Canoga Park, Winnetka and Reseda yesterday.

But don’t worry.

CicLAvia will be back next year with a return to South LA and a first foray into Watts in February.

………

It’s worth clicking on the tweet below just to read the long list of witty responses.

………

San Diego is moving forward with the long-debated protected bike lanes in North Park, removing 450 parking spaces to make room for them.

At the same time, however, it’s also beginning work on a pipeline under the street, which could mess up your bike commutes for the next month.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

………

Leone also forwards news that parts of Camp Pendleton were closed due to flooding as of this past weekend.

Please be aware of the following closures due to flooding:

  1. BEACH CLUB ROAD REMAINS CLOSED
  2. RAMP TO WIRE MOUNTAIN ROAD FROM VANDEGRIFT BLVD  ENTERING FROM MAIN GATE CLOSED
  3. LAS PULGAS GATE IS NOW CLOSED
  4. STUART MESA RD, 41 AREA TO LAS PULGAS IS NOW CLOSED.

Roads and gates above will re-open once water subsides.

For additional information regarding these closures, please contact Mr. Sam Jammal.

Sam Jammal, Community Plans Liaison, Camp Pendleton

Osamah.jammal@usmc.mil

………

Nothing like a leisurely bike ride along the Nile.

No, on it.

………

Just when you thought discussion of the much-loathed Peloton ad had beaten the subject into the ground…

…actor and gin meister Ryan Reynolds takes a swing at it.

Meanwhile, a Fox News host insists the whole controversy stems from the actress’ expressive eyebrows. No, really, he’s serious.

Apparently failing to understand what actors do for a living, some very stupid people have been sending death threats to the man who plays the husband in the spots. And a writer for the Guardian says the actor’s attempts to prove he’s not sexist misses the point.

And not surprisingly, Saturday Night Live got in on the action, not once but twice. Although you have to watch the first one all the way through.

Unfortunately, the actor in the ad isn’t an SNL fan, either.

At least not in this case.

………

‘Tis the Season.

Inmates in an Iowa county jail refurbished 25 bicycles for local kids.

A western Pennsylvania bike drive resulted in 1,245 bike for Toys for Tots; the founder says he wants to make sure every kid has the chance to ride one like he did.

Twenty-six Long Island NY kids got new bikes and helmets thanks to a local nonprofit.

A Tampa Bay nonprofit built 900 bicycles for local kids in need.

………

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

No, people on bikes don’t think they own the road. But evidently, the woman in this Texas truck thinks she does.

………

Local

Los Angeles got a pair of state grants totaling $3.5 million to build 2.2 miles of multi-use pathways along the LA River in North Atwater Village, as well as improving habitat along the river.

If you’re carrying a garage door opener, crack pipe and several change purses on what’s probably a $5,000 stolen bike, stay off the sidewalk — and put a damn light on it.

 

State

San Diego bicyclists rode Friday to celebrate the completion of new bus and bike lanes along El Cajon Blvd.

Mind your turn signals and stop signs in Oxnard tomorrow, when the police conduct a bike and pedestrian safety sting, calling it an educational operation. The usual protocol applies — ride to the letter of the law until you get outside their jurisdiction.

San Jose pedestrian fatalities are at an all time high, with other traffic deaths not far behind.

A somewhat incredulous Sacramento reporter follows a Christmas tree delivery in three parts to prove it can be done by bicycle.

 

National

A writer for Quartz questions why women don’t ride to work when they love bikes so much.

Life is cheap in Colorado, where a dump truck driver walks with community service for killing a new mother on her first bike ride after giving birth. And apparently gets to keep his license, too.

Conservative Texas aims to eliminate traffic deaths in the entire state by 2050. Unlike progressive California, which hasn’t even discussed Vision Zero.

A Chicago alderman (alderperson?) backed down on plans to dangerously reconfigure bike lanes to make room for more parking.

He gets it. An Illinois writer says you “meet the most interesting people, see what most drivers rarely notice, and discover places you wish you had known years ago” when you ride a bike.

No surprise here, as Pittsburg drivers make like a quarterback avoiding a blitz by using bike lanes to swerve around speed humps without slowing down.

Gothamist wants to know why ebikes are okay for Amazon and UPS deliveries in NYC, but remain illegal for immigrants delivering food. And why the governor hasn’t signed a bill to rectify that.

New York’s Port Authority makes La Guardia Airport virtually off limits to people on bikes, suggesting it’s your fault for making drivers feel bad when they have to hit you.

 

International

Stats show most Toronto bicycling and walking deaths occur during the day, suggesting the free reflective armbands offered by police won’t help very much.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver will serve less than two years behind bars for killing a bike rider when he couldn’t even see her because of the tray table he built onto his dashboard.

A British woman says she’s lucky to be alive after the brakes on her bike failed during a steep descent on a 114-mile charity ride, sending her crashing into a rock.

British Prime Minister and Captain of the H.M.S. Brexit Boris Johnson says the naughtiest thing he’s ever done was ride a bike on the sidewalk. But London’s Mirror begs to differ, insisting Boris has done much worse — like using highly offensive racial slurs, for instance.

A new Austrian inner tube offers lower rolling resistance, combined with the kind of savings weight weenies could only dream of — if you’re wiling to pay the price.

An African photographer focuses his lens on Burundi’s bicycle taxi culture.

The best way to visit the Cypriot city of Nicosia is by bicycle, according to a local paper. Then again, that’s usually the best way to visit any city.

A visually impaired Japanese man can finally live his dream of racing with his wife after friends and family hand-built a lacquered bamboo and beech wood tandem they can ride together.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclist picks the cycling team of the decade; three of their eight picks are women — with Marianne Vos topping the list.

Eurosport considers the most controversial moments in the 2019 bike racing season.

Although maybe you’d prefer watching the top riders and their crazy bike handling skills seen below.

https://twitter.com/VelonCC/status/1202302881224896513?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1202302881224896513&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cyclingweekly.com%2Fnews%2Fracing%2Fwatch-velon-recap-shows-amazing-bike-handling-skills-pro-riders-443996

 

Finally…

When your stolen bike — and subsequently stealing it back — becomes the topic of a children’s book. If you spot a tempting bicycle sitting outside the sheriff’s office, just leave it alone, already.

And if you want to avoid ripping the skin off your penis, put some damn grips on your handlebars.

Assuming you have one, of course.

………

 

 

Man killed riding bike on Van Nuys High Injury Street, one day before West Valley CicLAvia

Just hours before Los Angeles gathered to celebrate what our streets could be, we received another tragic reminder of what they still are today.

The Los Angeles Daily News reports that a man was killed in Van Nuys Saturday evening, one night before Sunday’s CicLAvia a few short miles away.

The victim, identified only as a man in his 40s, was riding his bike east on Victory Blvd around 6 pm Saturday, when he reportedly ran the red light at Kester Ave just as a driver was entering the intersection on Kester.

He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

However, the crash could not have happened the way the paper describes; according to the Daily News, the driver was headed west on Kester, which is a north-south street.

Most likely, the driver was traveling north or south on Kester, but could have been on Victory.

He or she stayed at the scene, and reportedly rendered assistance, as required by law.

As always, the question is whether there were any independent witnesses who saw the crash. Although at that hour, there should have been witnesses on such a busy street.

Click to enlarge

Victory is one of LA’s most dangerous streets; a one mile section just a short distance east of the crash scene is one of the city’s top Vision Zero High Priority corridors.

Yet like most streets on the list, little or nothing has been done to protect innocent lives.

This is at least the 68th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 31st that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

It’s also the 16th in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 44-year old Fabian Abarca of North Hills. Oddly, the reports continue to say the driver was headed west on Kester, which is impossible on a north-west street.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Fabian Abarca and his loved ones. 

 

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