Some stories are just too outrageous for words.
That was the case with yesterday’s murder of a bicyclist by a road-raging SUV driver who fled the scene after running down the victim near Expo Park following an argument.
We won’t rehash the whole story here.
But it serves as a tragic reminder that you never know who you’re dealing with on the roads. And if you encounter an angry driver, it’s better not to engage if possible.
Just pull over, and let them go on their way. A lesson I learned the hard way, after bouncing off the bumper of a road raging driver when I made the mistake of responding to her anger with a single raised finger.
Rule #1: Never flip off the driver behind you.
If they come after you, try to ride to a public place. Take your bike into a store if you need to.
Make a public display of calling 911, or ask witnesses to call the police.
I’ve also found that taking a photo of the driver and the license of the vehicle with your smartphone will diffuse most situations. Although pointing out that you’re recording everything on your helmet cam seems to have the opposite effect.
Try to speak calmly. Don’t yell or get into a shouting match. Just find a way to get out of the situation as quickly and painlessly as possible.
I don’t mean to preach.
That advice is a reminder for me as much as it is for you or anyone else.
I’ve got a long history of standing my ground and fighting for my right to the road through words and gestures. Even going so far as to block offending drivers with my bike and body, and shoving car doors closed to keep drivers or passengers from getting out and kicking my ass.
I’ve somehow managed to get away it. Except for that one time.
But as that case and this one make clear, it’s just not worth the risk.
A salmon cyclist suffered major injuries in a head-on collision in Boyle Heights Monday night.
A drunk driver lost control of his car and went off PCH in Huntington Beach, coming to rest in the sand; the driver and a passenger were arrested trying to flee on foot.
A friend reports she would have been passing through that exact spot at the time of the crash as she rode her bike home along the beach, if she hadn’t stopped to watch the lightening display and ended up talking with a driver who’d pulled over to watch, as well.
It’s funny how often little things like that can make all the difference in getting home safely.
CicLAvia returns to the scene of the crime for the fifth anniversary of the original Heart of Downtown event.
Speaking of which, the Militant Angeleno is back with his epic guide to Sunday’s CicLAvia route. Seriously, you need to memorize this, print it or download it to your phone before you head out on Sunday.
And there will be a feeder ride to CicLAvia from Culver City.
In pro cycling, the Tinkoff-Saxo cycling team is now just Tinkoff, as the team lost Saxo Bank after eight years of sponsorship.
And it’s not just the riders facing a doping ban anymore, as USA Cycling extends a zero tolerance policy to its staff and contractors.
The Alliance for Community Transit is hiring an Organizing Coordinator, and a Campaign and Communications Coordinator. And they’ll be hosting a community event in Grand Park on Monday to discuss what a sustainable, transit-rich LA could look like.
Jimmy Kimmel gives a non-bicycling staff writer a bike riding lesson behind his Hollywood studio.
Great news from the Valley, as design work begins for another 12 miles of bike paths along the LA River. Although the story doesn’t say if it will connect with the existing LA River bike path.
CiclaValley says Metro has plans for a bigger, bolder, and hopefully more bikeable NoHo. Let’s hope those plans include the long promised Lankershim bike lanes that were squashed by the unlamented Tom LaBonge.
It’s official. South Pasadena will host the second stage of next year’s Amgen Tour of California.
A Huntington Beach bicyclist suffered critical injuries when he was rear-ended while riding in the bike lane on Warner Ave.
Newly bike friendly San Diego is ranked as the 12th greenest city in the US.
A Santa Cruz writer plays Miss Manners for mountain bikers for a day.
San Francisco cyclists have an interesting new transportation option, as they can now lease a $2000 e-bike for $79 a month, including a lock, theft insurance and unlimited maintenance.
A Rancho Cordova cyclist is lucky to survive a collision with a light rail train.
I want to be like him when I grow up. A Granite Bay man celebrated his 90th birthday by riding his 200,000th mile on his bike. By my calculations, I only have somewhere around 18,000 miles and a few more decades to go.
Microsoft is working on predictive intelligence to prevent bicycle collisions before they happen. Except when they have to reboot the system, download and install upgrades or fight off a virus, that is.
CNET looks at the growing popularity and expanding choices in e-bikes.
Next City offers eight images and videos it says will make you fall more in love with bikeshare.
A new Portland apartment building is only 80% leased, but the bike parking is already overflowing.
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho police are looking for a hit-and-run cyclist who plowed into a jogger after calling “on your left,” then not doing it.
The driver who nearly killed a Denver bike cop who was protecting protesting high school students faces up to nine years in prison after pleading guilty to vehicular assault; he lied about an existing medical condition when he applied for a drivers license.
An Arkansas county sobriety court has started their own bikeshare program — actually more of a bike library — to provide transportation for drivers who’ve had their licenses suspended for DUI.
The Minneapolis StarTribune talks with Stephen Clark, the bicycle-friendly community program specialist for the League of American Bicyclists.
Evidently, not everyone loves Detroit’s Slow Roll Bike Rides.
A New York truck driver was high on coke when he killed a cyclist in an apparent right hook.
The NYPD doesn’t just think bike lanes are for parking, they’re also a dump for precinct garbage.
A Brooklyn paper offers a by the numbers look at bicycling in the borough.
City Lab says that DC church’s claimed opposition to bike lanes for religious freedom is really all about free parking. Oddly, I don’t recall Jesus saying anything about being able to park right in front of a house of worship.
City and state governments around the world are finally using data to harness the benefits of the bicycling boom.
A Toronto writer reflects on the intersection of bicycling and jazz, including a hair-raising ride from Hollywood to attend a recording session in Studio City with the great Lee Ritenour, aka Captain Fingers. I’ve often thought riding through traffic felt like a jazz improvisation, as you slide in and out of ever expanding and collapsing spaces, speeding up and slowing down with the flow around you.
The UK’s Cycling Weekly offers advice on winter riding, some of which actually applies in sunny Los Angeles.
Horrifying crime from Austria, as four masked men push a bike rider to the ground and carve a swastika into his forehead.
A commuter in Malta tried five different forms of transportation before concluding that riding a bike was the most efficient way to get to work.
A Singapore judge suggests cracking down on rash cycling with jail time or a fine up to the equivalent of $1800.
Aussie cops take the country’s mandatory helmet law to a ridiculous extreme by fining a helmet-wearing woman $70 because her strap wasn’t tight enough.
Only in Japan would separated bike lanes be intended to protect cyclists from pedestrians instead of cars.
If you’re carrying a knife, sawed-off shotgun, drugs and trafficking paraphernalia, don’t ride on the sidewalk and put a damn bell on your bike. If you’re hiding a meth pipe on your bike, maybe it’s better not to ride with a .22-caliber rifle strapped to it.
And it may be smart, it may be electric, it may be a foldie, but if it doesn’t have pedals, it’s a freaking scooter, not a bike.