Morning Links: Arrest made in Boyle Heights hit-and-run, Jeff Jones ghost bike tonight, and bike tourism for a cause

The LAPD made fast work of its search for the hit-and-run driver who critically injured a bike-riding father of five in Boyle Heights last week.

They got their man one day after announcing a $25,000 reward, arresting 23-year old Canoga Park resident Luis Raya-Flores for the crime.

Police said Raya-Flores knew why they were there as soon as they showed up at his door, telling them he fled because he panicked.

Which doesn’t excuse a damn thing.

Or shouldn’t, anyway.

Raya-Flores was booked on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and being held in custody on an $80,000 bond.

The victim, 53-year old Boyle Heights resident Gabriel Lopez, was riding his bike to his job as a construction worker when Raya-Flores lost control of his speeding truck and smashed into him.

Now it will be at least a month before Lopez can return to the job he needs to feed his family.

And a lot longer than that before he gets justice in the case.

Photo from LAPD website.

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A ghost bike will be placed tonight for fallen cyclist Jeff Jones.

The well-known and well-liked bicyclist was killed Saturday on Griffith Park Blvd when a van driver made a U-turn in front of him.

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Today’s common theme is bike tourism for a cause.

The annual Bike & Build program is rolling across the US to raise funds for affordable housing — and actually build it.

A Michigan man is riding 3,100 miles through the upper Midwest to call for an end to gun violence, and promote a hotline for people thinking about using a firearm to harm others.

And a man is riding from Maine to California, by way of West Virginia, to raise awareness of brain injuries after he suffered major brain damage when he was run down by a drunk driver several years ago.

Although sometimes, just a well-planned bike tour without a cause is good enough.

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Take a four-minute mental health break and explore California’s undiscovered country with mountain biker KC Deane.

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Sometimes, it’s the people on bicycles behaving badly.

A white DC bike rider learned the hard way that justice goes both ways, after he gets a well-deserved three years behind bars for a racially fueled U-lock attack on a black motorist.

After bicyclists ignore a bike ban on an Aussie walkway, officials installed barricades that everybody hates.

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Local

Streetsblog’s SGV Connect podcast catches up with Active SGV director David Diaz.

Santa Monica police credit a reduction in e-scooters and a state law removing the helmet requirement to ride them with a nearly 500% drop in tickets to scooter riders.

 

State

San Diego bicyclists had their annual chance to ride the city’s iconic Coronado Bay Bridge over the weekend.

Speaking of which, here’s your chance to take a relaxed bike tour of Coronado with Ken “Fat Woody” McNeil and his handcrafted artisan beach cruisers.

Bakersfield police book a killer driver on DUI charges with a 12% BAC. Yet still manage to blame the victim for turning her bike in front of his car. As always, the credibility of the accusations depends on whether there were any independent witnesses to the crash, since the driver has an inherent bias to blame the victim and see his actions in the best possible light.

If only cars had brakes. A San Jose driver is shocked when a jogger yelled at him for not giving him enough room as he passed a parked school bus, insisting he couldn’t give the runner any more space because there was a car in the lane next to him (last item). Because evidently, it’s impossible to slow down or wait until it’s safe to pass.

St. Helena residents are being urged to ride their bikes during next month’s Walk and Roll to School month.

 

National

The New York Times offers tips on tourism using dockless ebikes, scooters or motorbikes to get around a city.

Bicycling lends an ear to complaints about bike shops. So if you own, run or work for an LBS — aka local bike shop — pay close attention, because bad service is the best way to drive customers online. And you know they’re already looking there.

Your next Specialized bike seat could be the result of lattice-structured 3D printing, for a cooler, shock absorbing ride.

A Portland bike park was damaged in a brush fire, but all the staff was able to escape safely.

A bighearted Arizona special needs van builder bought a new adaptive bike for one of their young customers after learning his bike had been stolen.

Police in Fayetteville AR tell pedestrians, bike riders and motorists that the way to avoid crashes is just pay attention.

A Minnesota city approves a controversial mountain bike trail through a nature park, despite fears it could compromise the habitat for an endangered bumble bee. I gotta go with the environmentalists on this one; no use should be allowed that threatens any endangered species, because once they’re gone, they ain’t coming back.

A Detroit columnist complains about the city’s “tepid” response to the death of a nine-year old girl who was mauled by a neighbor’s dogs as she was riding her bike.

Cincinnati is the latest city to roll out a mountain bike-mounted EMS unit to get paramedics to emergency situations faster.

No shit. A Rhode Island legislator urges the state not to take $37 million earmarked to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians to fix roads and bridges for drivers.

No bias here. Yes, a Cape Cod bike rider may be at fault for a crash. But if he ended up on the hood and windshield of a car, he’s probably not the one who did the colliding.

The NYPD responds to a series of bike crashes in Central Park by turning out in force to slow riders down.

New York provides bike riders and pedestrians with a spacious, 20-foot wide path on a new bridge span. But neglects to give them a safe way to get there.

After kids in their early teens start a ride out group to keep away from drugs and gangs, Schenectady NY city leaders respond with an ordinance allowing police to impound the kid’s bikes, because they piss off drivers and are too young to ticket. Although one former cop would rather use an old Soviet tactic and just toss them in a psych ward.

South Philadelphia is one of the top bicycling neighborhoods in the US. But that doesn’t seem to matter to local residents, who refuse to sacrifice 24 parking spaces to protect human lives.

Sad news from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where a 14-year old boy was fatally shot as he rode his bicycle, just days after making the football team at his middle school. Seriously, this shit has got to stop.

Either a Florida supermarket employs costume makers, or a local TV station doesn’t know how to spell customer. And apparently, neither one knows bike riders don’t have to ride in the crosswalk.

A Miami weekly says you can survive in the city without a car, but you have to bike at your own risk.

 

International

Mexico’s biggest bikemaker is building a $25 million maquiladora plant with plans to begin exporting to the US. Which isn’t a bad idea in light of Trump’s tariffs on Chinese-made bicycles and parts.

Ottawa city councilors respond to a deadly year for bike riders by saying they want people on bikes to feel safe on the streets. Maybe Los Angeles city councilmembers could take the hint from them.

After getting back on his bike after breaking his leg in a major endo, a London writer finds drivers have gotten meaner. And hopes for a day when all city centers will be carfree.

Bike Biz takes a tour of Britain’s legendary Brooks saddle factory.

Time says the streets of Europe aren’t big enough for bicycle riders and e-scooterists.

 

Competitive Cycling

Watch two-time world mountain bike champ Danny Hart’s dream custom mountain bike build come together in 22 minutes.

Apparently, closing your eyes as you sprint for the finish in the fourth stage of the Vuelta makes you faster.

Evidently, Chloe Dygert Owen is doing a good job of overcoming her confidence issues, after demolishing the peloton to win all four stages of the Colorado Classic. Meanwhile, race organizers hope to add more European teams for next year’s edition of the women’s stage race.

 

Finally…

Who needs a bike path when you’ve got the Great Wall of China? Despite what the company says, Peloton is less than a bike because bikes have wheels.

And if you’re going to burglarize a store, don’t leave the keys in your truck where a bike-riding car thief can find them.

 

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