Morning Links: Driver busted in Escondido hit-and-run, Bike Index saves ebike from Tijuana swap meet, and ET flies again

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Good news from San Diego’s North County, where Escondido police have arrested a suspect in last month’s fatal hit-and-run that took the life of a young father and former mountain bike racer.

Forty-one-year old Escondido resident Jamison Connor was identified as the driver who allegedly ran down 36-year old Vista resident Kevin Lentz, leaving him to die in the street, and forcing his one-year old son to grow up without a father.

Connor was initially taken into custody on unrelated parole violation allegations related to “various weapons charges, drug charges, and driving under the influence allegations,” according to a police spokesman.

Which matters, because unless Escondido authorities can come up with other charges, the most Connor could get for a fatal hit-and-run in California is just four years.

Meanwhile, a crowdfunding page has raised over $101,000 for his wife and son.

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More proof of the power of bicycle registration, as Bike Index helps recover a $6,000 ebike stolen from San Diego’s Hotel Del Coronado at a Tijuana swap meet.

Seriously, if you haven’t already, stop what you’re doing and sign up for their free, international, lifetime bike registration.

Before it’s too late.

Speaking of Bike Index, Facebook will match any donations to the nonprofit organization on tomorrow’s Giving Tuesday.

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In case you missed it during Thursday’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, ET once again phoned home — and once again rode a flying bicycle with the children of now-grown Elliott, carrying on the family tradition.

But even if you saw it, you may have missed all the many hidden references to the original.

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Who needs a seat, anyway?

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No, you don’t need an SUV to carry your Christmas tree.

Or even a car.

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Keep your eyes peeled on the streets of Los Angeles for Princess Leia, the bike-riding bulldog.

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David Huntsman goes for a bike ride on the “organically evolved” bike paths of Paris.

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An Indian website asks if video of a Malaysian teen riding a 3 meter high bicycle — the equivalent of over nine feet — is the tallest bicycle ever.

Then answers the question themselves, suggesting they knew all along that the ridiculously tall, 6.15 meter — 20 feet 2.5 inch — STOOPIDTALLER™ bike from LA’s own Richie Trimble holds the record, making it more that twice as tall as the Malaysian bike.

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‘Tis the Season.

Michigan volunteers put together 240 bicycles to be given away through the local Toys for Tots program.

Apparently, Santa rides a bike in Portugal.

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

A road raging Aussie driver turned himself in after an attack that was caught on video, running up from behind to punch a bike rider in the head, knocking him off his bike and out cold, before throwing the bike at the victim. All because the bike rider complained about the driver encroaching on a bike lane.

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Local

An op-ed from a UCLA professor says e-scooters are a growing public health challenge, and users need mandatory helmets and training. Because evidently, all other modes of transportation are so much safer, and scooter users kill so many other people. Except they aren’t, and they don’t. 

New LA advocacy group Streets for All says you need to give your input on Beverly Hills’ surprisingly complete Complete Streets plan, saying your voice is needed to keep bike riders and pedestrians from being drowned out by the city’s wealthy NIMBYs.

Redondo Beach considers what’s basically the opposite of Vision Zero, concluding that it has fewer total crashes than the regional average in the northern reaches of the city, so no improvements are necessary — despite a recent rash of traffic deaths it blames on “incorrect behavior” and other “non-systemic issues.”

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson takes issue with Peter Flax’ recent Bicycling piece about the real reason’s bike riders keep dying on our streets. And Flax takes issue with Davidson taking issue.

 

State

Bad news from San Diego, where a 46-year old man suffered life threatening injuries when he allegedly swerved his bike in front of a pickup driver in San Ysidro. As always, the question is whether there are any independent witnesses who saw him swerve. Besides the driver, that is.

San Diego bike rider Mike Cohen has finished his journey across the US, mostly by bicycle, to meet the family of the Navy flight surgeon whose donated heart allowed Cohen to make the trip.

Temecula has opened a new bike pump track. Which actually has very little to do with bicycle pumps.

Police have released security cam video of the suspect vehicle in last month’s hit-and-run that killed a San Jose bike rider.

The San Francisco Chronicle wonders how — and whether — bicycles can become a preferred means of transportation in the city.

The Sacramento Bee explains what the area will get if a proposed transportation sales tax passes, including a new bicycle bridge and enhancements to Vision Zero. Meanwhile, a Sacramento writer says the city’s goal of surpassing Portland as America’s most livable city is just a pipe dream unless city leaders actually do something.

 

National

Bicycling considers how society’s words are failing people on bicycles.

Fast Company says your next helmet could lose the foam in favor of a new squishy material that absorbs impacts up to 48% better than traditional insulation.

A Seattle weekly disagrees with the local paper, saying no, the city shouldn’t enforce its existing bike helmet law.

A group of indoor cyclists are riding to make the world safer for outdoor ones, attempting to set a record for Longest Static Indoor Cycling Class at a Denver cycling studio to raise funds for PeopleForBikes.

A Montana man calls the police because he fears a beanie-wearing man on a purple bike is going to go into a store grocery bathroom a shoot up drugs. Because he’d seen “those types of people in California.” No, really.

When a Texas surgeon was needed for an emergency operation while out on a long bike ride, a Good Samaritan picked him up and drove him back to town. And yes, the patient is doing well.

The decidedly bike-unfriendly New York Post complains that the city’s bikeshare provider keeps posting pictures of bike riders without helmets. Because they need to set an example, so everyone will always have one with them on the off chance they might decide to actually rent a bikeshare that day.

An attorney for the victim says the NYPD botched an investigation into a bike rider’s death, and that even a cursory examination of the evidence would have shown she wasn’t at fault.

Streetsblog says ticketing an unresponsive New York bike rider following a dooring is a new low for the city’s police. Evidently the department agrees, cancelling the ticket.

A New Jersey paper visits a bike shop founded by an Italian immigrant “right off the boat,” where four generations of the same family have served bike riders for 93-years.

Three Maryland counties are helping ex-cons get back on their feet by getting them on two wheels.

Call it broom protected bike lanes in DC.

Once again, a bike rider is the hero, as a young Miami man rescues a female construction worker from a hammer-wielding assailant.

 

International

We’re winning, comrades. An electric vehicle website says more carmakers are developing ebikes and scooters because they see the writing on the wall for traditional motor vehicles.

The UN says the quickest way to reduce emissions and climate change is to stop making massive SUVs.

A writer for Forbes asks if ebikes are the new delivery vans.

A Vancouver cab driver is caught on video driving in a bike lane across a busy bridge; local riders say it happens all the time.

Once again, a bicycle turns out to be the fastest way across a major city, this time in London as a bike rider beats the city’s famed Tube.

Life is cheap in the UK, as yet another motorist walks with community service and an 18-month ban on driving after rear-ending a bike rider. Meanwhile, an Aussie barrister — aka trial lawyer — considers whether community service and a fine is fair punishment for killing someone on a bicycle. Hint: regardless of what the law says, it’s not.

The Guardian examines which political party offers the best promises for British bicyclists.

If you’re going to suffer a heart attack, you could pick a worse place than a UK bike cafe where a nurse and her partner are dining.

A British county is attempting to improve safety by installing hi-tech signs warning drivers when bike riders are present.

Mumbai will get a junior bicycle mayor within the next three months to encourage more kids to get on their bikes.

Hundreds of Pakistani bike riders turned out to show their solidarity with the people of Palestine.

An Australian paper considers what it will take to break Sydney residents’ addiction to cars. If they figure it out, let us know.

Local governments around Japan are passing ordinances requiring bike riders to carry liability insurance, but without penalties for failing to comply.

 

Competitive Cycling

Five-time Tour de France champ Miguel Indurain is coming out of retirement at age 55 to compete in the six-stage Titan Desert mountain bike race from the Maghreb region of Northern Africa to the Sahara Desert.

Belgian pro cyclist Sofie De Vuyst was suspended by her team after testing positive for steroids, one of the few women’s cyclists to be busted for cheating. But the era of doping is over, right?

A 22-year old Danish pro learns the hard way about the dangers of dancing, breaking his leg while cutting a rug with his teammates; he’ll be off his bike for the next six weeks.

A bike rider discovers what pain is by finishing dead last in the 629.4-mile North Star Bicycle Race ultracycling race.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can have your own hi-tech police bike for a mere ten grand. Even turkeys are running interference for scofflaw drivers.

And forget the limo; nothing beats riding away from your wedding with your new bride riding sidesaddle on the top tube.

 

One comment

  1. Ralph says:

    Who needs a seat, anyway?
    All my friends know a lower rider……

    The new helmet material is fine if it slows the deceleration rate of the brain by that amount also.

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