BikinginLA takes on the Times Opinion page, and arraignment delayed for killer OC DUI driver

If you’re wondering why there was no post yesterday, here’s one reason.

The LA Times Opinion page continues their excellent series on Sharing the Road in LA with an insightful rebuttal written by the author of BikinginLA to an earlier editorial saying cyclists don’t belong on Wilshire Blvd on the Westside.

Wait, that’s me.


Yesterday’s planned arraignment of Hasti Fakhrai-Bayrooti, the 39-year old lawyer charged with killing OC bike rider Eric Billings while on a cocktail of prescription drugs, has been postponed until December 6th.

Fakhrai-Bayrooti denies she was impaired when she killed the popular father and Mormon elder, despite suggesting that she had no idea what was happening and no control over her car as it drifted into the bike lane.

Yeah, that’s credible.


The Los Angeles Wheelmen are forced to cancel their annual Five County Century after the Forest Service demands a permit to use public roads and rest stops on federal land — even though it had gone on permit-free since 1984.

Despite working out other alternatives, the last straw was the USFS refusal to allow sag wagons to stop on federal roads to aid riders in distress.


Something tells me they’d let a tow truck stop to aid a disabled motorist.

And they’d probably permit an ambulance to rescue riders after they’re forced to keep going despite being at the end of their capabilities because they didn’t have a damn sag wagon to pick them up.

I don’t know if this had anything to do with the recent government shutdown. Or just someone with the forest service who has to visit a proctologist to get a root canal because his head is jammed way too far up his own ass.

Thanks to Vic for the heads-up.


Aviator light

Aviator light

Please forgive the last minute notice.

I’ve mentioned this project before, but it’s worth noting again. You’ve got just a few hours left to back this Kickstarter project for the virtually theft proof and indestructible new Aviator and Afterburner bike lights from Fortified Bicycle Alliance.

I get a lot of pitches to promote various products, most of which go directly into the trash bin. But this one I really like, with tough, ultra-bright LED bike lights smartly designed by a team of former MIT students.

Afterburner light

Afterburner light

Back the project today at a level of $45 or more, and you’ll get one or more of the lights at a discount on the retail price. The Kickstarter is already funded, so you’re guaranteed to get your light(s), with a projected delivery date of next April.

And no, they haven’t promised me anything in exchange for promoting their products.



The hidden bike path along the southbound 405 east of the VA campus that hardly anyone knows about will be closed from now through November. I only learned it existed a couple years ago when a previous shutdown was announced.


In upcoming events, the exhibition Ghost Bikes of LA opens at red5yellow7 this Friday, 4257 Melrose Ave. And Trust South L.A. and Community Health Councils are sponsoring a bike ride from Central Ave to Leimert Park this Sunday to promote peace in South LA


The New York Times looks at the state of bicycling, with reports from the father of vehicular cycling, the founder of Rivendell Bicycle Works, a senior research associate with the University of North Carolina Highway Safe Research Center, a researcher with the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis, and the mayor of technical and environmental administration for Copenhagen.


LADOT General Manager Jaime De La Vega highlights the department’s recent accomplishments, including 101 miles of new bike lanes. Maybe it’s a sign of the end times, as the auto-centric San Fernando Valley becomes pedestrian and yes, bike friendly, auto-centric Warner Center wants to get people out of their cars and Northridge could actually become pedestrian-friendly like Westwood — but hopefully without the vacant storefronts. KCET says the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge complex needs to be about more than just cars; evidently, the city is starting to get the message, as they’ve called a new public hearing next Monday. Popular LA cyclist Will Campbell founds the Happy Foot Bicycle Club, which departs each Wednesday before I even get out of bed. Video from last weekend’s Wolfpack Hustle HP Gran Prix. The annual Spooky Cross cyclocross race takes place this weekend in Pomona. The CHP will establish a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement project throughout Southern California next year.

Charlie Gandy and Steven Wallauch talk about the upcoming Calbike bike summit on KPCC’s AirTalk program. Bike lawyer Bob Mionske talks with cdmCyclist. A great San Diego program provides refurbished bikes to refugees living in the city. A San Diego triathlete refuses to be pretty in pink. Riverside approves a controversial road diet and bike lanes on Brockton Ave. This is one reason why some cyclists run stop signs, as confusion over who goes first leads to an injury collision. Santa Barbara hosts their first ciclovía on November 2nd. A Menlo Park writer doesn’t like the city’s proposed LA-style cyclist anti-harassment ordinance. A Mountain View writer says the city’s El Camino Real needs cyclists to survive. A Fresno father credits Obamacare for helping save his critically injured bike riding son without bankrupting the family. San Francisco police are targeting cyclists rolling through stop signs; I hope they’re also ticketing drivers who do the same thing. The San Francisco bus that ran over and killed an elderly cyclist was missing a rear wheel guard designed to prevent exactly that. Trying to track down East Bay bike thieves leads to the arrest of a woman for stealing a $1000 pair of jeans.

Distracted driving is killing more bicyclists and pedestrians in the US. Here’s a GOOD pre-ride checklist. Hammerhead wants to be Waze for bikes. The false dichotomy of civil vs militant cyclists. Seattle drivers are confused by new two-way bike lanes. A Colorado driver is found guilty of hit-and-run, but not guilty of vehicular homicide in the death of a cyclist. The per capita bike collision rate rises to record levels in my bike-friendly hometown; drivers are found at fault in 57% of cases. A call to make Montana roads safe for everyone. Wisconsin considers a law making it a felony to kill or injure vulnerable road users. Last year’s vaporware Copenhagen Wheel becomes a reality, easily turning your bike into an e-bike, which is exactly why I don’t want one. The New York Times says cycling is probably pretty safe, or maybe not, sort of. Gotham cyclists, including the famed Bike Snob, are up in arms over an OpEd piece in the NY Times that says blue Citi Bikes are besmirching the city, even though they seem to be popular with rich white people. New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan says it’s been a wonderful six years; imagine what she could do here in the next 12. Evidently, in New York, bike lanes just happen. DC cyclists will get a jump on red lights — legally — while drivers will be held more responsible for hitting cyclists. An Atlanta cyclist is run down by a 15-year old in a golf cart.

Canadian police seize a truck used to intentionally run down and kill a bike rider. After an Alberta driver hits a cyclist head-on, she yells at him to get his bike out from under her car — then drives off with it still trapped underneath. Michael Bublé and wife bike baby-free in Vancouver. The Guardian asks if companies like Strava have a responsibility to discourage reckless behavior. A day in the life of a female London bike messenger. A long list of bike books for kids. Four — yes, four — people face manslaughter charges in the apparent hit-and-run death of a Welsh cyclist; can’t wait to see the explanation for that one. The 2014 Tour de France starts in England and returns to the cobbles; meanwhile, the only remaining American Tour de France winner calls Lance Armstrong the greatest fraud and says he belongs in jail. Cyclists and pedestrians make up over half of all traffic fatalities in India. While bikes appear to be booming everywhere else, bike use is dropping Down Under; maybe it’s due to the mandatory helmet law.

Finally, you can wear your new Bianchi around your wrist, without the inconvenience of wrecking it first. If the bike path you’re riding on glows in the dark, do you still need a bike light? And seriously, when you’re carrying cocaine, crack, meth, concealed knives and $1000 Canadian, stop for the damn stop light, already.


  1. Biker395 says:

    Some additional information on the Forest Service permit process:

    It looks like the FS rules require a permit be obtained and a fee paid for any “commercial use or activity on NFS land” or non-commercial uses if the activity involves more than 75 persons.

    As a threshold matter, I would question the notion that riding a bicycle through the National Forest qualifies as a “use” of NFS land, if all they are doing is riding through it. Would the promoter of a rock concert need a permit if some of the people attending drove through the National Forest to get there? Currently, the National Forest requires private citizens to purchase of an Adventure Pass to use the National Forests (I have one), but not merely for driving through or for parking on private land within the National Forest.

    Given the above, then why does the Forest Service believe that cyclists need to pay for the privilege of passing through the same Forest if they are stopping on private land? How is that consistent with Forest Service policy?

    The vast majority of “forest highways” ARE under state jurisdiction, and it is my understanding that CalTrans, the CHP and county Sheriff’s department are the ones responsible for repair and patrol.

    The rules classify “commercial use” as any use that requires an entry fee, even if no profit is made. They also ask for a fee of 5% of the gross receipts for one time events. So what happens if the event passes through more than one National Forest? The fees become 10% or 15%?

    And finally, there is the notion of the Forest Service demanding a permit and payment on the day before an event, notwithstanding the fact that they have not done so for decades, and being unwilling to waive the permit or expedite the process to allow the event to proceed as usual. For me, that is frankly over the top. It smacks of abuse, and does not engender good feeling between the Forest Service and the people they are supposed to serve.

    • Biker395 says:

      Further research on the issue of the Forest Service’s right to demand a special use permit for cyclists riding through the National Forest reveals the following:

      As a part of Administrative Law, the agency must publish proposed rule for public comment. With respect to the laws regarding special use permits, they did so back in 2004. They are available here:

      Note on page 41950, it is averred that the regulations apply only to National Forest Service roads, not to those under State or local jurisdiction.

      Also, on page 41953, someone noted that it was difficult to tell what was a National Forest Service road and what was not. The Forest Service responded that it was easy to tell, because, among other things, each National Forest must publish an atlas indicating which roads are National Forest Service Roads.

      Here is what I believe to be the atlas for the Los Padres National Forest:…/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5291371.pdf

      Note that the roads used on the “LA Wheelmen 5 Counties Century” are not indicated as National Forest Service roads.

      On that basis, it’s reasonable to conclude that the Forest Service had no right … no jurisdiction … to demand a special use permit for this ride.

      The notion that a permit must be applied for in order to render aid … also appears to be nonsense (41950-41951 makes it clear that if one is needed, it can be applied for after the fact).

  2. Hoi Polloi says:

    Heads up on this Afterburner light project? I notice the combo cannot be ordered instead the selections are limited to purchasing
    the lights separately. I have a problem with that. If you’ve sold out of the combos — SAY SO — but don’t bait and switch me and make me pay for them separately. I probably won’t buy from them because Fortified Bicycle Alliance hasn’t shown they are infallible.

  3. Hoi Polloi says:

    My apologies for my rant about the Afterburner light combo. The website has been fixed and combos can now be purchased.

  4. Hoi Polloi says:

    I’d like to retract my comment above. The website can now accept combo purchases and I aptly apologized by email.

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