Morning Links: Happy Bicycle Day, murder charge for OC driver, and Taylor Swift drops a new blue bike

Happy Bicycle Day.

Which doesn’t actually have much to do with bicycles at all. Or riding them, for that matter.

It’s the 76th anniversary of the day Albert Hoffman invented LSD, and discovered its hallucinogenic effects while riding his bike home.

So turn on, tune in, drop out, and kick back while we take a look the day’s bike news.

Then get out and go for a ride yourself.

Preferably without the influence of any mind-altering substances.

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They take traffic crime seriously in Orange County.

Victor Manuel Romero, the allegedly highly intoxicated hit-and-run driver who killed bike rider Ray MacDonald in Huntington Beach the day after his birthday, will be arraigned today on a single count of murder.

Which most likely means this isn’t his first DUI, since drunk and stoned drivers convicted in California are required to sign a letter indicating they could face a murder charge if they kill someone while driving under the influence in the future.

Although the actions of some drivers are so despicable that they should face a murder charge either way.

This is one of those cases.

And unlike Los Angeles, the charges are unlikely to be plea bargained down to a misdemeanor.

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Taylor Swift may or may not be one of us. But at least she knows the power of a pretty blue bike.


On the other hand, newly 40-year old Kourtney Kardashian is one of us, though apparently, not very good at it.

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Evidently, motorized scooters are nothing new.

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The Bicycle Tree bike co-op rides to savor the flavor of Santa Ana tomorrow.

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If you’re going to crash into brick walls, maybe you should wear a helmet. And bring a dog treat.

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Local

Metro is considering new regulations to wrangle the tangle of e-scooters and dockless bikeshares at their stations.

LAPD busted a ring of scooter-riding car burglars, who’d come down from Oakland on the weekends and rent e-scooters to ride around Hollywood breaking into cars.

Thanks to Culver City for putting new bike lanes on Overland Blvd.

Oopsie. Sit-down scooter company Wheels, which recently launched with a bizarre Sunset Strip party for B and C list celebs, has been fined $40,000 and counting for operating in Santa Monica without a permit. Although they’ve probably more than made up for it by renting scooters to all those red carpet folks, right?

Santa Monica Spoke has a busy social calendar, starting with a Kidical Mass ride tomorrow, and a membership meeting on the 27th.

State

A Bakersfield letter writer says no, the bike path is for everyone, not just the people on two wheels.

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss asks the burning question why do Americans hate bikes so much? On a related subject, the writers and producers of ABC’s Blackish seem to share that sentiment, finding humor in threatening people on bicycles.

Lime is working on a sensor system to detect drunk users and keep them safe. When they have it up and running, maybe they can pass it on to carmakers.

Tres shock! A new Seattle report shows that bikeshare use drops when it rains. And drops even more when it snows.

A Spokane WA state senator agrees to release funding for the city’s road projects after they promise to build a new bike trail. Although the sharrows the city promised as part of the agreement won’t do anything but help drivers improve their aim.

No bias here. A Las Vegas paper notes that a bike rider was hit by a car while crossing a street outside of a marked crosswalk. Even though bike riders aren’t required to use crosswalks, or even allowed to in many places. And never mind that they take until the fifth paragraph to even mention in passing that the car had a driver.

San Antonio TX suggests making bicyclists second class citizens by shunting them off onto side streets when a major boulevard gets a makeover in order to make more room for cars, instead of installing the protected bike lane advocates are asking for. Meanwhile, an op-ed in a San Antonio paper says more needs to be done to protect riders.

The family of the first bikeshare user to be killed in the US received a $5.25 million jury verdict, after turning down a half million dollar settlement offer from the company the truck driver who killed her worked for.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero. After an Indiana cop struggled to subdue a driver, a man jumped off his bicycle and helped bring the suspect under control and get handcuffs on him.

After a Maine restaurant owner offered to give away two children’s bikes on Easter Sunday, kindhearted business owners and local residents pitched in another 45 bikes and helmets.

A New Hampshire couple spent $150 of their own money to buy a new bike for a disabled Boston-area veteran they’d never met after learning that the bike he relied on for his only form of transportation was stolen outside a Dollar Store.

While Los Angeles continues to build bike lanes at a glacial pace — protected or otherwise — a new bill in New York would commit the city to building a minimum of 100 miles of protected bike lanes a year for the seven-year period starting next year.

No bias here, either. According to the New York Daily News, a man was killed when he somehow magically fell off his bike into the side of a passing truck. A far more likely explanation is the driver passed too close, either sideswiping the victim or causing him to lose control; Gothamist doesn’t seem to buy it, either.

If New York ever gets around to legalizing e-scooters, a new startup is offering to provide docking and charging stations for up to 10,000 scooters and ebikes. Although that kind of defeats the purpose of dockless bikeshare and scooters.

In news that should surprise absolutely no one, new stats show that New York Mayor de Blasio’s heavy-handed crackdown on ebikes is based on nothing more than fear and hyperbole; just nine of the 11,115 pedestrians injured in the city were struck by someone on an ebike.

Delaware police add insult to injury — literally — by ticketing a woman for failing to yield after she was hospitalized when her bike was struck by a driver’s car.

President Trump was scheduled to honor participants in a Wounded Warriors Ride after they reached the White House on Thursday.

International

A Winnipeg, Canada cop is being investigated after a bike rider alleged the officer pepper sprayed him and threatened him with a baton after he refused to let the cop search his backpack.

That’s more like it. Drivers in the UK who block bike boxes could be subject to the equivalent of a $130 fine and three points against their licenses. If the police actually enforce it, that is. Note: I originally wrote they’d be subject to a three pint penalty, which would be much more likely to result in compliance.

A British man rode his bike around the world while stoned to prove that stoners aren’t lazy. No, just use poor judgement, and are willing violate DUI laws in countless countries.

The founder of a million dollar English bikepacking bag maker learned learned how to do it by watching instructional videos on YouTube.

Scottish stunt rider Danny MacAskill looks back on his ten-year career, saying his only regret is filming a video at the Playboy Mansion.

Forget bike racks on the front of buses. A new Scottish bus that takes riders to a popular mountain biking area has two racks inside to accommodate riders.

Nigerian university students destroyed a Mercedes Benz after the driver ran down a bike rider and tried to flee the scene; no word on whether the driver escaped or was beaten by the crowd. Although it’s unclear what type of bike the story refers to; the same word could refer to a bicycle or a motorcycle.

Competitive Cycling

Former Cervelo-Bigla pro Doris Schweizer is alleging an abusive environment on the team, claiming she was denied medical treatment after suffering a severe concussion, and forbidden from talking with other riders.

Organizers of Minnesota’s North Star Grand Prix have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise $200,000 by May 3rd or they’ll have to cancel the race this year, just like last year. So far the page has raised $5,985, with just $194,015 to go.

A Spokane writer says Rebecca Twigg puts a new, relatable face on homelessness, noting that she’s turned down offers of help, preferring to focus on the half million people in the US who need help to put a roof over their heads.

A fund has been set up in the name of fallen track cyclist Kelly Catlin to support young women’s track cyclists; Catlin recently took her own life after suffering a serious concussion in a crash last year.

Finally…

Nothing like a custom, hand-crafted camo paint job on your new ebike to help ensure drivers won’t see you. If you’re going to use your bike seat as a drug stash, try to hide it from the cops’ hidden cameras.

And how can anyone make fun of our bike shorts when we’re just following the year’s hottest fashion trend?

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Chag Sameach and Happy Easter to all those celebrating the respective holidays this weekend.

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