Morning Links: 15-year old fixie rider dragged 1,000 feet by hit-and-run driver, and a flaming bagpipe unicycle ride

Horrible news from South LA, where a 15-year old boy was critically injured by a hit-and-run driver who sped off, leaving him bleeding in the streets.

While the story identifies him as a pedestrian, he was actually riding or walking with what appears to be a fixie when he was run down by a heartless coward at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Woodlawn Avenue around 9 pm last night — then dragged over the length of a football field under the driver’s car.

That’s around 1,000 feet.

Police described the victim as barely alive.

Officers are looking for a 2007 or 2008 dark blue or green Honda Accord with tinted windows and front-end damage.

As always, there is a standing $25,000 reward for any hit-and-run involving serious injuries in the City of Los Angeles, which will increase to $50,000 if the worst happens.

Let’s hope they catch this murderous jerk.

And pray that the boy he tried to kill by not stopping makes a fast and full recovery.

Update: The victim has been identified by his mother as Roberto Diaz, who was riding in a crosswalk after buying a soda at a nearby store when he was run down by a driver who blew through a stop sign. 

The driver stopped briefly when he or she was followed by witnesses before taking off again. 

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Apparently, parking is a common theme today.

Harbor Area planning commissioners approve plans for a new 80-room hotel in San Pedro, with 56 parking spaces for drivers, and all of five — count ’em, 5 — spaces for people with bicycles.

A massive new San Diego commercial development will feature just 90 short-term bike racks, along with 90 long-term bike lockers, to compliment nearly 1,400 parking spaces for motor vehicles. Not exactly the way to encourage people to leave their cars at home.

A bike-riding Seattle business owner says he’d rather keep the street parking in front of his cafe and put a planned bike lane somewhere else, evidently preferring his current customers to getting more business from people like him. And before someone says Seattle isn’t Amsterdam, maybe it should be. Then again, so should Los Angeles.

………

Trek’s podcast talks with the founder of Black Girls Do Bike, who deserves the Medal of Freedom. Or sainthood. Or something.

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Security video captures a Kansas City-area driver plow through a crosswalk without looking, and right into a bicyclist riding in it.

Then the police ticket the driver, as well as both bike riders for not waiting for the walk signal even though they had the green light.

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Former Top Gear host James May calls on drivers to live in peace with fellow road users, and not “buy into the anti-cycling thing.”

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Local

The LA Weekly goes on a bicycle pastry tour through LA’s Fairfax District and points east. And gives a shout out to former Flying Pigeon owner Josef Bray-Ali’s popular Get Some Dim Sum rides

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton explains LA’s wonky and acronym-heavy shift from LOS to VMT, saying it’s “likely to have big ramifications for making L.A. healthier, more walkable, more bikeable, and transit-friendly.”

Plans to redevelop the aging South Bay Galleria include what are obliquely described as “bicycle connections,” whatever that means in real life.

No need for guilt when you attend a track cycling race at the VELO Sports Center on the complex that houses Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, which Los Angeles Magazine calls the world’s most sustainable soccer facility, right down to its fleet of cruiser bikes for workers to traverse the expansive grounds.

 

State

In today’s faux soap opera report, ebikes have infiltrated the Real Housewives of Orange County, as Kelly Dodd presents her plastic surgeon boyfriend with a William Shatner-approved Pedego. And no, I had no idea who Dodd is, or anyone else on the show for that matter. But hey, good taste in gift giving.

A man was shot in the hand by a bike-jacker just after dark on bike path in the San Pasqual area near Escondido; he was shot as he raised his hands after the armed thief jumped out from behind some rocks and demanded his bicycle.

Everyone was on their best behavior as thousands of people turn out for Santa Barbara’s long-running Fiesta Cruiser Ride, after police cracked down on previous rides.

These are difficult days for local bike shops trying to compete in today’s online shopping world, as demonstrated by two bike shops closing in San Luis Obispo in just the last week.

The Davis Enterprise offers a quartet of stories celebrating the US Bicycling Hall of Fame on its 10th birthday, calling it the most bikey thing about the bike-mad town and part of the fabric of the community, while noting that the hall may shift gears in the future.

 

National

If anyone is shocked that Uber and Lyft are making traffic congestion worse, you need to get out more. But at least they finally admit it.

Ebike price continue to drop, as Electrek and Verge like the new Swagtron EB12 city bike, which checks in at penny under $1,000; the best part is it looks like an actual bicycle. And hopefully rides that way.

Great idea. A new bike light currently crowdfunding online offers dual lights, with one forward-facing 500 lumen LED to light the road, and another back-facing LED to make the rider more visible to drivers.

C|net compares a pair of low cost GoPro alternatives to the real thing.

A pair of cancer survivors just rode 4,000 miles across the US to promote bone marrow donations and raise $24,000 for the organization that helped save their own lives.

The mountain bike front derailleur isn’t dead yet, it’s just 90% off.

Hats off to a Boise, Idaho pawnshop owner, who helped bust a serial bike thief trying to unload $40,000 worth of bicycles reportedly stolen in Washington, California, Nevada, Florida, Colorado, Virginia, and North Carolina.

After 45 years, savage serial killer Ted Bundy’s last case was finally closed, 45 years after he took the life of a young Colorado woman as she was out for a bike ride.

A Kansas man is on trial for aggravated battery for critically injuring MMA fighter Carmella James while she was riding her bicycle to work; police believe he was under the influence, but don’t appear to have tested him.

A San Antonio TX bike rider was shot in the back in a drive-by.

An Arkansas bicycle coordinator says bike helmets are great, but mandatory helmet laws aren’t.

Yes, 288-pound NFL star JJ Watt replaced a young Green Bay Packers fan’s bicycle, after breaking the boy’s bike riding it to training camp.

Broadway actor Noah Galvin is one of us, riding along Manhattan’s Riverfront Park when he’s not performing in the hit show Waitress.

It takes a humongous schmuck to steal not one, not two, but three ghost bikes dedicated to a Virginia woman’s sister, who calls them a powerful symbol of a life lost.

A North Carolina city legalizes riding on the sidewalk as a stopgap measure until they get a planned bike lane network installed, recognizing that their streets aren’t currently safe for people on bicycles. On the other hand, riding on the sidewalk usually isn’t any safer; in fact, it usually increases your risk due to limited sight lines.

They get it. In a New Orleans podcast, bike advocates say we’ll have peace on the road when everyone has a piece of the road; meanwhile, the host of the podcast says progress on the city’s bike network is “worth the inconvenience of adapting to it.” I like him already.

 

International

No bias here. European truck drivers say they’ll give bike riders a safe passing distance as long as we’re required to wear hi-vis and and use daytime lights.

The family of a fallen London bike rider call for safer streets after the pioneering physician was fatally doored last September.

WTF? A local UK council gets an injunction preventing bike riders from meeting or congregating at a new cycling café. Which raises the obvious question of what exactly is the point of a cycling café if cyclists can’t use it. And if you bump into someone there who also rides a bike, does one of you have to leave?

The former Posh Spice is one of us, as she goes for a bike ride on a romantic Italian getaway with husband David Beckham and their four kids.

Travel and Leisure says the best way to see the scenic Swiss countryside is by bicycle, even if you’re a beginning rider.

A Luxembourg website lists the most common traffic violations for the country’s bicyclists, while noting that bike riders were only held accountable for 40% of bike crashes. The question is how many drivers were ticketed for the same crashes.

News reports question whether the president of Turkmenistan is suffering from a serious illness — or worse — despite recent news clips showing him riding and participating in other activities, which could have been outtakes from previous clips.

 

Competitive Cycling

Underscoring the danger pro cyclists face on a daily basis, the director of the Tour de Pologne, aka Tour of Poland, blames the tragic death of 22-year old Belgian cyclist Bjorg Lambrecht on a single “moment of hesitation.”

Yesterday’s stage of the Tour of Poland was transformed to a solemn memorial procession with the peloton riding in Lambrecht’s honor.

A writer for Cycling Weekly recalls the pivotal role Lambrecht played in an extraordinary day of racing at a U-23 race trough the Pyrenees.

Cycling Tips questions how long on-and-off road cycling champ Mathieu van der Poel can keep up his torrid pace.

Who says women can’t compete with the men? Twenty-four-year old German cancer researcher Fiona Kolbinger became the first woman to win the European Transcontinental Race, covering 2,485 miles across the continent in just 10 days, two hours and 48 minutes to beat 265 other riders. And it was her first bike race.

Finally…

This is what you might call an epic bike lane fail. Take your pooch on a Jump bike ride.

And we’ll just end on this one without comment.

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