Morning Links: South LA Slasher claims more victims, AAA fights bike law change, and booby trapped SD trail

Sadly, there’s been more attacks by the bike-riding South LA Slasher.

The latest came Monday morning near Florence Ave and Avalon Blvd, when the suspect rode up on a mountain bike and slashed the face of another man with a sharp object for no apparent reason.

That raises the total number of attacks to six, all in the area of South LA and Southeast Los Angeles County.

The suspect is described as an 18- to 30-year-old Latino man with short hair, about 150 pounds and 5’6″ to 5’8″, wearing a dark-colored T-shirt and pants, and riding a black and green mountain bike

Let’s hope they catch this guy before he does some serious damage.

………

Once again, AAA is standing in the way of bike safety legislation — even when the proposed law doesn’t change anything.

Streetsblog reports that Calbike has withdrawn a proposal that would have simply changed the wording of the ride to the right rule to say that bicyclists have the right to “move away from the right edge when the lane isn’t wide enough to share.”

Current wording exempts riders from the requirement to stay to the right when the lane is too narrow to share, which is the case with most right lanes in Southern California.

Not only is it not a significant change, it doesn’t change the rights or responsibilities of bike riders at all. Just simplifies the wording, bringing it in line with statutes in other states.

Yet somehow, AAA still opposed it.

Just one more example of the organization’s mindless, knee-jerk opposition to almost any legislation regarding bikes, including their fight against the three-foot passing law.

Even when it doesn’t infringe on their members’ God-given right to go “vroom, vroom” to their hearts content.

I cancelled my membership several years back when I got tired of the organization using my dues to lobby against laws intended to protect my own life.

And that of everyone else who rides a bike.

………

The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A San Diego bike rider was lucky to avoid serious injury when he encountered a booby trap on a popular bike trail in San Dieguito River Park near Lake Hodges. Correction: I originally said I was near Lake Hughes. Thanks to Michele Chavez for the tip.

Someone had not only strung barbed wire across the trail, but had hidden it by braiding the wire in a strand of ivy.

Anyone who tried to ride through without spotting the wire could have been seriously injured.

Which makes this an attempted assault with a deadly weapon.

Let’s hope they find the jackass responsible for this. And that police and prosecutors treat it with the seriousness the crime calls for.

Meanwhile, a man in the UK got 18 months behind bars for siccing his dogs on a pair of bike riders, because he was upset over people riding on the sidewalk.

………

Local

LAist looks at the 15 people vying to become the next councilmember occupying LA’s vacant CD12 seat.

Santa Clarita is looking for one hundred more volunteers for this year’s Amgen Tour of California stage.

Long Beach residents got a street-level, one and a half hour view of the Long Beach Grand Prix course, as long as they did it without a motor.

State

This is who we share the roads with. Ten percent of drivers told AAA they “always or frequently” use their smartphones illegally while driving, while nearly 50% admit to doing it at least once. And those are just the ones honest enough to give a truthful answer; the real total is probably somewhere north of that. Far north.

Encinitas approves plans for a Complete Streets makeover of the Coast Highway in Leucadia, adding traffic circles and bike lanes to slow traffic and improve safety.

A San Diego man suffered serious injuries in a collision with a scooter rider as he was riding his bike on the Mission Beach boardwalk Tuesday afternoon.

Goleta was honored by the central coast chapter of a national public works association for the city’s bike and pedestrian master plan, as well as the Hollister Ave multi-use, Safe Routes to School path.

The popular Eroica California classic bike festival takes over Cambria this weekend.

A Pismo Beach street has been turned into a slalom course, forcing drivers to weave back and forth as construction begins on a Complete Streets makeover.

National

Outside says right now, it’s impossible to tell if Trek’s WaveCel helmet technology is as effective as the company claims; MIPS says their tests don’t back up Trek’s promises.

A new startup promises to give you airline-style miles for using non-automotive transport, such as biking, walking and transit.

How to help your mountain bike live a long, healthy and happy life.

Needless to say, Seattle bike riders are frustrated by the latest cutbacks in the bike plan for the ostensibly bike-friendly city, raising questions of what the mayor’s vision is. Or if she has one.

After exempting e-scooters from the city’s mandatory bike helmet law, Spokane questions whether the law is needed at all.

Evidently, New York state won’t be legalizing e-scooters now after all.

International

While everyone else is trying to stop drivers from parking in bike lanes, Hamilton, Ontario wants to invite them in.

A British Paralympian says we need another word for utility bicyclists to reduce the hostility many drivers have for people on bikes. Or we could just forget the semantics, and focus on changing drivers attitudes and reminding them that we’re human too.

A Scottish man on an around the world bike tour has picked up a passenger, adopting a stray kitten in Bosnia; he modified his bike to give it a space up front.

German officials blame a rise in bicycling deaths on more older people using ebikes.

Caught on video: A Kiwi bicyclist was lucky to get away without serious injuries when he got left hooked — the equivalent of our right hook — by the driver of an SUV; fortunately, he managed to push off the vehicle at the last moment.

An Aussie bike tells drivers yes, we’re human, and we all deserve respect on the road.

An Australian professor says banning tiny vehicles like e-scooters denies us smarter ways to get around urban environments.

Competitive Cycling

American legend Alexi Grewal, the only US Olympian man to win gold in cycling, regrets his winning ride, saying he selfishly rode for himself instead of supporting Davis Phinney as he had agreed.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a pair of pro riders’ Garmins after they crashed during a race.

Finally…

Apparently, riding a bike in a public park is trespassing. Who needs to pedal when you’ve got a fuel cell?

And you know your open streets event was successful when it draws more people than the annual Elks Parade.

2 comments

  1. Michele Chavez says:

    “il in San Dieguito River Park near Lake Hughes.” Correction: It is Lake Hodges. I used to live in that area in another life.

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