Morning Links: Rabid bat in OC bike rental shop, helmetless teen in Burbank crash, and Ballona Creek closure this week

If you see a lone bike rider with kitty litter panniers and a full lumberjack beard making his way east from the Santa Monica Pier along Broadway, Ohio or Santa Monica Blvd this afternoon or evening, say hi to my brother Eric. 

It’ll surprise the hell out of him. 

I’m going to take a few days off to enjoy his visit, and pretend to enjoy my birthday this year.

Barring anything unforeseen, we should be back later in the week. 

So ride carefully and defensively for the next few days. I don’t want to have to come back to write about you, or anyone else. 

Bat photo by Miriam Fischer from Pexels; see next item.

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Rabid bicyclists are nothing new.

Rabid bats inside an Orange bike rental shop, on the other hand…

Seriously, if you were in the bicycle rental shop at 1 Irvine Park Road in Irvine Regional Park recently, and you had any contact with a bat, call the Orange County Health Care Agency’s Communicable Disease Control Division from 8 am to 5 pm at 714/834-8180, or call 714/834-7792 after hours.

Or if you have a pet that may have come into contact with a bat in the area, call your vet right away.

Or just wait until you’re foaming at the mouth, and people assume you’re just another angry NIMBY screaming about bike lanes.

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More information on the Burbank crash we mentioned last week, as a 16-year old boy was critically injured in the collision at Alameda Ave and Lake Street Thursday night.

Unfortunately, no further details are available at this time.

However, the police were quick to mention that the victim didn’t appear to be wearing a helmet, as required by law for anyone under 18.

But they failed to mention whether he suffered a head injury that a helmet might have prevented.

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A section of the Ballona Creek bike path will be closed for maintenance most of this week.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the tip.

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Maybe there’s a reason to buy an Apple Watch after all.

A Washington man is crediting his father’s watch with saving his life after a bad mountain biking fall.

Not only did the Apple Watch automatically notify the son his dad had fallen, it called 911 and informed them of his location.

Before the son could get there, his father was already in an ambulance and headed for the hospital.

If that’s not in the company’s next commercial, they need to fire their ad agency. Or marketing director.

Or both.

Thanks to Mike Cane and Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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The Orange County Bicycle Coalition is offering a handy dandy little chart explaining the legal requirements for bikes, ebikes, hoverboards, e-scooters, motorized bicycles and motor-driven cycles, such as Vespas.

As (almost) always, just click to make it bigger and easier to read.

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A little tactical urbanism in action, as someone hacked a highway warning sign to give a clear, if slightly censored, message to drivers everywhere.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A man is under arrest for intentionally using his car as a weapon after a Sacramento State student complained that he was parked in a bike lane, then getting out of his car and beating the victim as he was lying in the street.

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Local

UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup says parking reform will save the city, blaming free street parking and mandatory off-street parking for causing needless traffic, sprawl and housing unaffordability.

The LAPD says it broke up an e-scooter flash mob that was attempting to take over DTLA, and possibly the 101 Freeway, Saturday night.

LA Times letter writers give pedestrians the usual bicyclist treatment, blaming scofflaw distracted walkers for a rise in pedestrian deaths while absolving the people in the big, dangerous machines of any responsibility.

Kesha is one of us, nearly unrecognizable with her newly dark hair as she rides around Venice with her boyfriend. And yet, the fearless paparazzi somehow still managed to spot her.

A Bixby Knolls man discusses his disastrous, yet ultimately successful, attempt to revive the Long Beach Marathon for skaters, bicyclists and runners in 1999.

 

State

California Governor Gavin Newsom took a big step towards street equity by appointing former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler to the California Transportation Commission, along with Hilary Norton, who runs Fixing Angelenos Stuck in Traffic, aka FAST.

The San Francisco Chronicle says California must overhaul its approach to transportation to fight climate change, and questions whether it’s up to the task. Based on what we’ve seen so far, the jury’s still out on that one.

In the best story of the day, an 86-year old Escondido woman is hooked after taking the first bike ride of her life on a tandem bike.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a customized road bike worth nine grand from a San Diego paracyclist when she went inside to get her shoes.

This is who we share the roads with. A road raging Florida man punched a Lake Elsinore motorcycle rider, before taking aim with his car and running over the victim’s bike.

Santa Cruz police cracked down on traffic violations that threaten the safety of bike riders and pedestrians, ticketing 24 drivers over a five hour period, along with one pedestrian. And just one bike rider, for failing to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

San Jose bike riders turned out in force for the city’s open streets event over the weekend.

Sad news from Vallejo, where a 66-year old man was killed when he was struck by a driver in an early morning crash; police blamed the victim for wearing dark clothing and not having a light on his bike, as well as having drugs and alcohol in his system.

 

National

The rich get richer. Tucson approves plans for more bike boulevards, on top of the nine the city already has. Which compares favorably to LA’s, uh, one.

Chicago cops busted a suspect who allegedly rode his bike up to a woman and shot her last week; one of the officers was shot in the leg making the arrest. Fortunately, both victims are expected to survive.

A Michigan appeals court has affirmed the sentence for the man who killed five bike riders and injured four more while driving under the influence of a veritable smorgasbord of drugs. The 53-year old man won’t be eligible for parole until he’s 90. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

Tragic news from Cleveland, where a 38-year old man faces charges for carjacking an SUV with a toddler still strapped into a child seat, then killed a bike rider as he tried to make his getaway from the police.

After arguing in his car with a teenage boy, a slightly older man followed him into the Massachusetts woods and slit his throat as the victim tried to ride away, alleging he blacked out after the boy called him a racial slur.

Join the club. A New York councilmember says the city doesn’t have the resources to investigate hit-and-runs, with just 26 officers assigned to more than 42,000 cases every year.

Now that New York Mayor and erstwhile presidential candidate Bill de Blasio has finally given up on his quixotic quest for the White House, the press is insisting he refocus on being mayor, including getting the city’s Vision Zero program back on track.

For a change, the New York Post is kind, saying simply that the mayor has totally plateaued. And a writer for The Intercept wants to know why de Blasio is trying to kill him, accusing the self-proclaimed progressive NY mayor of favoring drivers over bicyclists.

Apparently, it remains open season on bike riders in New York, where a 14-year old boy was killed by the driver of a private garbage truck for the city’s 21st bicycling death this year — more than twice the total for all of last year. His family is demanding answers, as they should.

The New York Times says if you want to fight climate change, don’t drive so damn much. Although they might not have said it quite that way.

Long Island police evidently decide the constitution doesn’t apply to teenage bike riders, seizing the bikes of “disruptive” teens without pressing charges.

 

International

Cycling Weekly explores how to keep your bicycling obsession under control.

A British Columbia man learns the hard way that admitting to using heroin before riding his bike is a Get Out of Jail Free card for the cop that hit him.

No bias here. A Montreal columnist says he’s absolutely in favor bike lanes, except in the winter when he puts his bike away and drives everywhere. And accuses the city of being hostile to cars instead of just making room for people on two wheels, which he would probably hate in the winter, anyway.

Life is cheap in Yorkshire, England, where a hit-and-run driver walked without a single day behind bars for running down a bike rider, costing him the use of his thumb and killing his bicycle.

In yet another example of governments keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, UK authorities blamed a variety of errors for failing to revoke a speeding driver’s license until after he killed another man, even though he had 25 points against his license — which should have been taken away with less than half that.

Scandinavian countries aren’t the only place where bicycling is a way of life. A reporter says everyone rides in the Tanzanian city of Shinyanga, where bicycles are the only form of transport.

Delhi, India gives LA drivers a hint of things to come as the city begins odd/even days to fight smog and traffic congestion; drivers with even license plates can drive one day, while drivers with odd plates can drive the next. Does that mean people with personalized plates don’t get to drive at all? This is the future we all have to look forward to if NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers keep fighting attempts to create safe, practical alternatives to driving.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly examines how Dutch women came to rule the cycling world, and questions whether anyone can beat them at this week’s world championships. Short answer, not yet.

British cyclist Lizzie Deignan says parenthood has given her perspective, and that bicycling is less important to her than its ever been. But considering the world championships road course runs right past her parents’ house, she’s not going down without a fight.

 

Finally…

Repeat after me. If you’re carrying meth on your bike, put a damn light on it — and don’t consent to a search. Don’t throw away those banana peels, just shove them down your pants (scroll down).

And passing a group of bike riders is perfectly legal.

Doing it in the grass to their right, no so much.

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Thanks to Megan Lynch for her generous donation, which she said was an early birthday present. Any donation, for any amount or any reason, is always appreciated.

 

3 comments

  1. lagrower says:

    Love your blog, but advocating murder (biting people if you have rabies) isn’t the way to go. Suggest deleting that.

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